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Become a Phlebotomist in Anaheim California

How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Anaheim CA

Anaheim CA phlebotomist drawing blood from patientPicking the ideal phlebotomist training near Anaheim CA is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, many prospective students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.

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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary

Anaheim CA phlebotomist laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Anaheim CA laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Work?

The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Anaheim CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, 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 drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.

Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification

blood testing performed in Anaheim CA labThere are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become 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 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in most states, many Anaheim CA employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the key certifying organizations 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomy Online Schools

Anaheim CA woman attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical option for many Anaheim CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.

Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs

Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Anaheim CA as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Anaheim CA job market.

What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist 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 any schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Anaheim CA clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.

Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, 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 phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Anaheim CA medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Anaheim CA health care community.

Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only 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. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Anaheim California

Anaheim CA phlebotomist laboratory blood testingMaking certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Anaheim CA.