How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Antelope CA
Picking the right phlebotomist school near Antelope CA is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider 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 remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick 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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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Antelope CA laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Antelope CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant 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. 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 convenient option for some Antelope CA students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you want 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 in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected 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 program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Antelope CA job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. 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 internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact some Antelope CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with 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. 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 clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Antelope CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Antelope CA health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Antelope CA, make certain they are offered 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 ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Antelope California
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Antelope CA.