How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Aliso Viejo CA
Picking the right phlebotomist school near Aliso Viejo CA is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many potential students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Aliso Viejo CA labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Aliso Viejo CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working 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 range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education along 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Aliso Viejo CA employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Aliso Viejo CA students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Aliso Viejo CA medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Aliso Viejo CA as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Aliso Viejo CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact 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 contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of 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 clinical and classroom. At 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 lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Aliso Viejo CA medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Aliso Viejo CA healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Aliso Viejo CA, make sure 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 attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Aliso Viejo California
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Aliso Viejo CA.