How to Select the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Anaheim CA
Choosing the right phlebotomy school near Anaheim CA is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, most potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Anaheim CA labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Anaheim CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Anaheim CA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the primary certifying agencies 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, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the course of study 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 in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Anaheim CA students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type 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 in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with 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 Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, 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 Program's Reputation? In many states there is little 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 investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. 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 solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Anaheim CA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient 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 practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Anaheim CA medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much 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 school has a high rate, signifying they place most 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 healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Anaheim CA, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical 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 have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Anaheim California
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a variety of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary slightly across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Anaheim CA.