How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist School near Antelope CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Antelope CA is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, most potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far 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 should be part of your selection process as well. 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 choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Antelope CA labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Antelope CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, a number of Antelope CA employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the principal 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Antelope CA students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked 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 in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, 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 Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Antelope CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask 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 filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Antelope CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Antelope CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Antelope CA, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And 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 procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Antelope California
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Antelope CA.