Home >> California >> Aliso Viejo >> Phlebotomy Classes


Become a Phlebotomist in Aliso Viejo California

How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Aliso Viejo CA

Aliso Viejo CA phlebotomy tech drawing bloodSelecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Aliso Viejo CA is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, most students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should 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 cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.

Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area

Phlebotomy Technician Career Description

Aliso Viejo CA phlebotomy lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point 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 may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Aliso Viejo CA laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Work?

The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Aliso Viejo CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.

Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification

blood testing performed in Aliso Viejo CA laboratoryThere are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Aliso Viejo CA employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations include:

  • National Phlebotomy Association
  • National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
  • American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
  • American Medical Technologists (AMT)

There are some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees

Aliso Viejo CA woman attending phlebotomy training onlineFirst, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for some Aliso Viejo CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.

Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?

First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Aliso Viejo CA medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.

What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges

What to ask Aliso Viejo CA phlebotomy schoolsSince you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Aliso Viejo CA as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Aliso Viejo CA job market.

What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Aliso Viejo CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.

Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.

Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Aliso Viejo CA health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Aliso Viejo CA medical community.

Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Aliso Viejo CA, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Aliso Viejo California

Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a number of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Aliso Viejo CA.