How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist School near Antelope CA
Picking the right phlebotomy technician school near Antelope CA is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Antelope CA laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Antelope CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Antelope CA employers look for certification before 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for some Antelope CA students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Antelope CA medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you 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 decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Antelope CA as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, 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 loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Antelope CA job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin 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 also. You can also talk to some Antelope CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Antelope CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Antelope CA medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Antelope CA, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Antelope California
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Antelope CA.