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Become a Phlebotomist in Antelope California

How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Antelope CA

Antelope CA phlebotomist drawing bloodEnrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Antelope CA is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, most prospective students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, 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 resume our conversation about online classes.

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Phlebotomist Career Summary

Antelope CA phlebotomist lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Antelope CA laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomists Employed?

The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Antelope CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.

Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing

blood testing performed in Antelope CA laboratoryThere are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Antelope CA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.

Phlebotomy Online Classes

Antelope California student attending phlebotomy school onlineFirst, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for many Antelope CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.

Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges

Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Antelope CA in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Antelope CA job market.

What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges 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 research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Antelope CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.

Is Sufficient Training Included? 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.

Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Antelope CA medical community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Antelope CA healthcare community.

Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Antelope CA, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

Learn How to Become a Phlebotomist

Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Antelope California

Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Antelope CA.