How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Antelope CA
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician school near Antelope CA is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Antelope CA labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Antelope CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every 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 usually takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Antelope CA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main 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, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for some Antelope CA students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Antelope CA in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits 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 qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Antelope CA job market.
What is the Program'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 quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Antelope CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Antelope CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority 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 medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Antelope CA, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Antelope California
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Antelope CA.