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Become a Phlebotomist in Aliso Viejo California

How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Aliso Viejo CA

Aliso Viejo CA phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientEnrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Aliso Viejo CA is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.

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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description

Aliso Viejo CA phlebotomist laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While 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 check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Aliso Viejo CA laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomists Employed?

The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Aliso Viejo CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing

blood analysis performed in Aliso Viejo CA labThere are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior 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 background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Aliso Viejo CA employers require certification before employing 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees

Aliso Viejo CA woman attending phlebotomy training onlineFirst, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy 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. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Aliso Viejo CA students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.

Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools

Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Aliso Viejo CA as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Aliso Viejo CA job market.

What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist 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 reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Aliso Viejo CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Plenty of 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 amount of training, both classroom and practical. As 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 less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.

Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Aliso Viejo CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Aliso Viejo CA health care community.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to verify that the final college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Aliso Viejo CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, 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 certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.

Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Aliso Viejo California

Aliso Viejo CA phlebotomist lab blood analysisMaking sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary somewhat 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 before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Aliso Viejo CA.