How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Anaheim CA
Picking the right phlebotomy technician school near Anaheim CA is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools 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 factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Anaheim CA labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Anaheim CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method 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 on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, a number of Anaheim CA employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
First, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the course of study 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 in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Anaheim CA students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Should You 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 medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Anaheim CA medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind 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 significant if you will be commuting from Anaheim CA as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure 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 need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Anaheim CA job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, 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 considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Anaheim CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Anaheim CA medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Anaheim CA healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Anaheim 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 also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Anaheim California
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Anaheim CA.