How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Aliso Viejo CA
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Aliso Viejo CA is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Aliso Viejo CA labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Aliso Viejo CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Aliso Viejo CA employers look for 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial 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. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Aliso Viejo CA students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national 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 attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Aliso Viejo CA medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Aliso Viejo CA in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium 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 earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, 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 College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Aliso Viejo CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Aliso Viejo CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Aliso Viejo CA health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to verify that the final program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Aliso Viejo CA, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Aliso Viejo California
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Aliso Viejo CA.