How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Aliso Viejo CA
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Aliso Viejo CA is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss 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 locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing 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 Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Aliso Viejo CA laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Aliso Viejo CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Aliso Viejo CA employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the primary 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Aliso Viejo CA students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Aliso Viejo CA medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Aliso Viejo CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Aliso Viejo CA job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students 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 also talk to some Aliso Viejo CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges 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 often not provided 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 also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position 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 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 health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Aliso Viejo CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Aliso Viejo California
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each school before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Aliso Viejo CA.