How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Anaheim CA
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Anaheim CA is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most prospective students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation 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 need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out 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 an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Anaheim CA labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Anaheim CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Anaheim CA employers require certification prior to 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional 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 preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for some Anaheim CA students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate 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 previously mentioned, the location of the college is important 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. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical 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 extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, 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 College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact some Anaheim CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. 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 colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working 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 lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Anaheim CA health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Anaheim CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to verify that the final school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Anaheim CA, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Anaheim California
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a number of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Anaheim CA.