How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Antelope CA
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician school near Antelope CA is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, most potential students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed 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 in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Antelope CA labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Antelope CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home 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 setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic 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 phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Antelope CA employers look for certification before 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical option for some Antelope CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Antelope CA as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. 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 practicing and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, 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 agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Antelope CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any 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 assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Antelope CA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing 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 looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Antelope CA medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Antelope CA health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to verify that the final program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to 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 part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Antelope California
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Antelope CA.