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Become a Phlebotomist in Anaheim California

How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Anaheim CA

Anaheim CA phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientChoosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Anaheim CA is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, most students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.

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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary

Anaheim CA phlebotomist laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab 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 responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?

The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Anaheim CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.

Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing

blood testing performed in Anaheim CA laboratoryThere are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Anaheim CA employers look for certification before employing 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomy Online Colleges

Anaheim CA student attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Anaheim CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.

Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs

Since you now have a general understanding 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 want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Anaheim CA as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing 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 readies you for any exams you may have to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Anaheim CA job market.

What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Anaheim CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.

Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Anaheim CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Anaheim CA healthcare community.

Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Anaheim CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.

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Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Anaheim California

Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Anaheim CA.