How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Tech School near Antelope CA
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Antelope CA is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, many students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option 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 remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Antelope CA laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Antelope CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older 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 blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Antelope CA employers require certification prior to hiring 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Antelope CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Antelope CA as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting 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 each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium 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 getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Antelope CA job market.
What is the Program'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 in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Antelope CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing 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 expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Antelope CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Antelope CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Antelope 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 clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Antelope California
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Antelope CA.