How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Antelope CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist training near Antelope CA is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Antelope CA labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Antelope CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education along with 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 exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Antelope CA employers require certification before hiring 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Antelope CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Antelope CA in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate 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 a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, 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 quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges 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 assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Antelope CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, 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 considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Antelope CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Antelope CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Antelope CA, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Antelope California
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Antelope CA.