How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near Aliso Viejo CA
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near Aliso Viejo CA is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process too. 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 choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Aliso Viejo CA laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Aliso Viejo CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Aliso Viejo CA employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the main certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several 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 essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for many Aliso Viejo CA students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might 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 phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Aliso Viejo CA in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, 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 College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. 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 research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Aliso Viejo CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing 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 reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Aliso Viejo CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Aliso Viejo CA health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important 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 sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, 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 policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
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Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Aliso Viejo California
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Aliso Viejo CA.