How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Aliso Viejo CA
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Aliso Viejo CA is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, most students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply 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 before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Some phlebotomists actually work in Aliso Viejo CA laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Aliso Viejo CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest 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 incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Aliso Viejo CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted 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-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Aliso Viejo CA students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Aliso Viejo CA in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist 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 Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized 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 aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Aliso Viejo CA job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Aliso Viejo CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Aliso Viejo CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at provide 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 along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Aliso Viejo CA healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Aliso Viejo CA, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study 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 have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Aliso Viejo California
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Aliso Viejo CA.