How to Select the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Antelope CA
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Antelope CA is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember 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 important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Antelope CA labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Antelope CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home 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 solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Antelope CA employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for some Antelope CA students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate 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 Antelope CA in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. 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 all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Antelope CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Antelope CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Antelope CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Antelope CA healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's important to confirm that the final college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Antelope CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure 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 find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Antelope California
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Antelope CA.