How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Anaheim CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Anaheim CA is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best 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
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Anaheim CA labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Anaheim CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest 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 provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in most states, many Anaheim CA employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the key certifying agencies 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 phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
First, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for many Anaheim CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you wish 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 cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Anaheim CA job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Anaheim CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out 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 practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Anaheim CA health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Anaheim CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Anaheim CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical 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 because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Anaheim California
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Anaheim CA.