How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Anaheim CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomy training near Anaheim CA is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point 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 may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Anaheim CA labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Anaheim CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides 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 specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in most states, most Anaheim CA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the principal certifying organizations 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out 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-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for many Anaheim CA students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Anaheim CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree 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 little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, 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 begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with some Anaheim CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample 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 classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Anaheim CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Anaheim CA medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to 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 on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Anaheim California
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Anaheim CA.