How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Aliso Viejo CA
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician training near Aliso Viejo CA is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able 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 can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Aliso Viejo CA laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Aliso Viejo CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Aliso Viejo CA employers look for 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Aliso Viejo CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding 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 type 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 in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Aliso Viejo CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out 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 placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact several Aliso Viejo CA clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Aliso Viejo CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Aliso Viejo CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only go to 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 as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure 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.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Aliso Viejo California
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Aliso Viejo CA.