How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Antelope CA
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Antelope CA is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, most potential students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need 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 need to 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 choose 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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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able 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 screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Antelope CA laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Antelope CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Antelope CA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Antelope CA students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Antelope CA medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it 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 perfect job for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Antelope CA as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Antelope CA job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Antelope CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Antelope CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a large 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 final college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Antelope CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm 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 should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Antelope California
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Antelope CA.