How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Antelope CA
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near Antelope CA is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, most prospective students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide 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 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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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Antelope CA laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Antelope CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, many Antelope CA employers look for certification before hiring 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be clinical 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 in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Antelope CA students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Points 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 might have already selected the kind 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Antelope CA as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national 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 premium 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. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable 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 phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin 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 rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Antelope CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Antelope CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Antelope CA health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to 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 on a part-time basis, confirm 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 ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Antelope California
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Antelope CA.