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Become a Phlebotomist in Anaheim California

How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Anaheim CA

Anaheim CA phlebotomist drawing blood from patientEnrolling in the ideal phlebotomy training near Anaheim CA is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to 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 assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description

Anaheim CA phlebotomist laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab 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 making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?

The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Anaheim CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.

Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis performed in Anaheim CA laboratoryThere are primarily 2 kinds 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 general 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, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees

Anaheim California woman attending phlebotomy school onlineTo begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for some Anaheim CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you select 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 premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.

Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?

First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Anaheim CA medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges

Questions to ask Anaheim CA phlebotomy schoolsSince you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Anaheim CA in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. 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 any examinations you may have to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Anaheim CA job market.

What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Anaheim CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out 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 schools are in full compliance.

Is Adequate Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Anaheim CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Anaheim CA health care community.

Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Anaheim CA, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.

Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Anaheim California

Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Anaheim CA.