How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near Antelope CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Antelope CA is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, many potential students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating 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 continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time 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 screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Antelope CA laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, including Antelope CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two 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 offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Antelope CA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the key 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, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for many Antelope CA students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected 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 college is significant if you will be commuting from Antelope CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Antelope CA job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Antelope CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Antelope CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance 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 high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Antelope CA health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Antelope CA, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of 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 rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Antelope CA.