How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Antelope CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near Antelope CA is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to 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 continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Antelope CA labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Antelope CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, many Antelope CA employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the primary certifying agencies 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, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for some Antelope CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you want 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 as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in 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 have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Antelope CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact some Antelope CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, 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 below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Antelope CA medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Antelope CA medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Antelope CA, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Antelope California
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Antelope CA.