How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Aliso Viejo CA
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician training near Aliso Viejo CA is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many prospective students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. 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 choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Aliso Viejo CA labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Aliso Viejo CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Aliso Viejo CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the principal certifying agencies 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for some Aliso Viejo CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Aliso Viejo CA medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected 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 profession for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Aliso Viejo CA as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Aliso Viejo CA job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact some Aliso Viejo CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Aliso Viejo CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Aliso Viejo CA health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to confirm that the final college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Aliso Viejo CA, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Aliso Viejo California
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Aliso Viejo CA.