How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Antelope CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Antelope CA is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss 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 such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right 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 Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments 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 to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Antelope CA laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Antelope CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Antelope CA employers look for certification before employing 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for many Antelope CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality 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 option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on 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 campus is important if you will be commuting from Antelope CA as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program 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 many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Antelope CA job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some Antelope CA hospitals or clinics that you might 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 find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working 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 provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Antelope CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire 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 the majority 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 healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Antelope CA, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Antelope California
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Antelope CA.