How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Anaheim CA
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Anaheim CA is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most prospective students start their search by looking at two 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 an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Anaheim CA labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, including Anaheim CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, many Anaheim CA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 a few states that do require 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 essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for some Anaheim CA students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked 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 cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Anaheim CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact several Anaheim CA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Anaheim CA health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Anaheim CA medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Anaheim CA, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Learn How to Become a Phlebotomist
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Anaheim California
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a number of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each college before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Anaheim CA.