How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Antelope CA
Picking the right phlebotomist training near Antelope CA is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, most students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Antelope CA laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Antelope CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based 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 drawing blood from elderly 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 drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Antelope CA employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the key certifying organizations 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
First, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Antelope CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Antelope CA as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a respected 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 an assurance 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 agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Antelope CA job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little 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 investigate the reputations of any colleges 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 research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Antelope CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, check with 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 furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Antelope CA health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot 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 college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Antelope CA medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to attend 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 attend 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 have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near Antelope California
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Antelope CA.