How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Anaheim CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Anaheim CA is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Anaheim CA labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, including Anaheim CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four 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 the majority of states, many Anaheim CA employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Anaheim CA students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist 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 selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Anaheim CA in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Anaheim CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Anaheim CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Anaheim CA health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Anaheim CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Anaheim CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Anaheim California
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Anaheim CA.