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Become a Phlebotomist in Antelope California

How to Find the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Antelope CA

Antelope CA phlebotomy tech drawing bloodChoosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Antelope CA is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, many students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review 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 factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to 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 resume our discussion about online training.

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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description

Antelope CA phlebotomy lab technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Antelope CA laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomists Employed?

The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including 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 young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.

Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing

blood testing done in Antelope CA laboratoryThere are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in most states, a number of Antelope CA employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomist Online Schools

Antelope CA student attending phlebotomy training onlineTo start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for some Antelope CA students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school 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 approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.

Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?

First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Antelope CA medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.

Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools

What to ask Antelope CA phlebotomy schoolsSince you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked 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 important if you will be commuting from Antelope CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality 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 organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Antelope CA job market.

What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates 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 a few Antelope CA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Enough Training Provided? First, 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 looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.

Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Antelope CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Antelope CA healthcare community.

Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Antelope CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.

Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Antelope California

Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Antelope CA.