How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Antelope CA
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Antelope CA is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, most prospective students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Antelope CA laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest 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 may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain 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 working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, most Antelope CA employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the principal 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Antelope CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Antelope CA medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
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 might have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, 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 phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Antelope CA job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Antelope CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with 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 working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Antelope CA health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Antelope CA medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Antelope CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Antelope California
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Antelope CA.