How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Anaheim CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Anaheim CA is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, most students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Anaheim CA laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, including Anaheim CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as 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 on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Anaheim CA employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the primary certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for some Anaheim CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Anaheim CA in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Anaheim CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check 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 placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several 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 ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Anaheim CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Anaheim CA health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work 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. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study 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 should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Anaheim California
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a number of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Anaheim CA.