How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Aliso Viejo CA
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Aliso Viejo CA is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Aliso Viejo CA laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Aliso Viejo CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, many Aliso Viejo CA employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Aliso Viejo CA students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. 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. Phlebotomists routinely work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may 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 college is relevant 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 an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected 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 program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Aliso Viejo CA job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Aliso Viejo CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Aliso Viejo CA medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying 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 health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Aliso Viejo CA, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training near Aliso Viejo California
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a number of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Aliso Viejo CA.