How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near Anaheim CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist training near Anaheim CA is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many students begin their search by looking at 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 local 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 locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Anaheim CA laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Anaheim CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing 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 blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education together 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Anaheim CA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. 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 could be a more convenient option for many Anaheim CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Anaheim CA as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Anaheim CA job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Anaheim CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate 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 phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Anaheim CA health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Anaheim CA health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night 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, make sure it is an option also. 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 due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near Anaheim California
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your final choice. 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 training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Anaheim CA.