How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Antelope CA
Picking the right phlebotomist training near Antelope CA is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, many potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation 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 reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Antelope CA laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Antelope CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting 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 collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Antelope CA employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the principal certifying organizations 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Antelope CA students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on 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 campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Antelope CA as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Antelope CA job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact some Antelope CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Antelope CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most 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 Antelope CA medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the final school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Antelope CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Antelope California
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Antelope CA.