How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Aliso Viejo CA
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Aliso Viejo CA is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, many students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Aliso Viejo CA laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Aliso Viejo CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, many Aliso Viejo CA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the principal certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for some Aliso Viejo CA students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Aliso Viejo CA medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Aliso Viejo CA in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Aliso Viejo CA job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Aliso Viejo CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Aliso Viejo CA health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Aliso Viejo CA healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Aliso Viejo CA, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training near Aliso Viejo California
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary slightly across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Aliso Viejo CA.