How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Antelope CA
Picking the right phlebotomist school near Antelope CA is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, most potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind 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 significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Antelope CA laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Antelope CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Antelope CA employers look for certification before employing 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study 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 completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Antelope CA students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium 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.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Antelope CA medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Antelope CA as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy 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 have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future 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 colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact several Antelope CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount 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 clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Antelope CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Antelope CA healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to school. 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, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Antelope California
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Antelope CA.