How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Aliso Viejo CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomy training near Aliso Viejo CA is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time 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 can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Aliso Viejo CA laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Aliso Viejo CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education together with 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Aliso Viejo CA employers require certification prior to hiring 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
First, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Aliso Viejo CA students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (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 disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked 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 college is relevant if you will be commuting from Aliso Viejo CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, 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 Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Aliso Viejo CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Aliso Viejo CA health care community. And they look good 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. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Aliso Viejo CA health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Aliso Viejo CA, check that they are offered at those times. Also, 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 certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Aliso Viejo California
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Aliso Viejo CA.