How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Antelope CA
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Antelope CA is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, most potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss 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 variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. 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 best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check 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. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able 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 tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Antelope CA labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Antelope CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior 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 setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy 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 fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Antelope CA employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the primary certifying organizations 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
First, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. 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 can be a more practical option for many Antelope CA students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Antelope CA as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically 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 College's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin 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 rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Antelope CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, contact 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Antelope CA health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out 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 the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Antelope CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend 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, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Antelope California
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist 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 go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Antelope CA.