How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Anaheim CA
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Anaheim CA is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Anaheim CA laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Anaheim CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means 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 to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in most states, many Anaheim CA employers look for certification prior to employing 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 several states that do call for 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 imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Anaheim CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already 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 able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Anaheim CA medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Anaheim CA as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are an important component 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 a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Anaheim CA job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer 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 also. You can also talk to a few Anaheim CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Anaheim CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Anaheim CA health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Anaheim CA, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm 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 policy is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Anaheim California
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Anaheim CA.