How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Anaheim CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomy school near Anaheim CA is an important initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Anaheim CA labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Anaheim CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. 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 provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Anaheim CA employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for many Anaheim CA students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Anaheim CA medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked 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 significant if you will be commuting from Anaheim CA as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, 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 College's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with 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 assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also 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 schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Anaheim CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Anaheim CA medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Anaheim CA, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Anaheim California
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Anaheim CA.