How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy School near Antelope CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near Antelope CA is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating 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 resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Antelope CA labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Antelope CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Antelope CA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for some Antelope CA students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you wish 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 tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, 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 practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior 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 agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Antelope CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Antelope CA clinics or hospitals 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 ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy 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 below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Antelope CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing offer 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 school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Antelope CA medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Antelope CA, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure 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 as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Antelope California
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range 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. Program options may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Antelope CA.