How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Antelope CA
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Antelope CA is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, most students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Antelope CA labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Antelope CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing 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, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Antelope CA employers look for certification prior to hiring 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial 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 completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Antelope CA students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Antelope CA medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Antelope CA as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example 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 superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, 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 Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Antelope CA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. 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 total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Antelope CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help 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 high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Antelope CA health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night 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 as well. 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 ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy 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 health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Antelope CA.