How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Aliso Viejo CA
Selecting the right phlebotomist school near Aliso Viejo CA is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, most potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able 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 may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Aliso Viejo CA labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest response 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 assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing 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 drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Aliso Viejo CA employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the key certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
First, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Aliso Viejo CA students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Aliso Viejo CA medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Aliso Viejo CA in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important component 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 some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with 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 program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently 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 Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out 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 placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Aliso Viejo CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? 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 at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Aliso Viejo CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at provide 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 college has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Aliso Viejo CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend 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. 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 find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Aliso Viejo California
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each college before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Aliso Viejo CA.