How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Course near Antelope CA
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near Antelope CA is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many prospective 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 a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Antelope CA laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Antelope CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Antelope CA employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the principal 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, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the program of studies will be clinical 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 completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for some Antelope CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (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 disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Antelope CA in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Antelope CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Antelope CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority 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? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Antelope CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Antelope CA medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Antelope CA, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical 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 because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Antelope California
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Antelope CA.