How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Antelope CA
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Antelope CA is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. 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 select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point 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 tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Antelope CA labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Antelope CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together 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, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in most states, many Antelope CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the main certifying agencies 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 phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous 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 additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist 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 selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Antelope CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. 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 all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Antelope CA job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact a few 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 closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 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 comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Antelope CA medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Antelope CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Antelope CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure 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 procedure 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 enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Antelope CA.