How to Find the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Anaheim CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near Anaheim CA is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss 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 locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision 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 assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Some phlebotomists actually work in Anaheim CA laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Anaheim CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Anaheim CA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be clinical 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for some Anaheim CA students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Anaheim CA medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Anaheim CA as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Anaheim CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. 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 screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Anaheim CA hospitals or clinics 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 complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? 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 classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering 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 Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Anaheim CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Anaheim CA medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work 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, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Anaheim California
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program before making your final decision. By asking 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 training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Anaheim CA.