How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Antioch CA
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Antioch CA is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit 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 significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal 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 Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports 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 in fact work in Antioch CA labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Antioch CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Antioch CA employers require certification before employing 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Antioch CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Antioch CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for 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, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Antioch CA job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy 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 considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact several Antioch 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 ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Antioch CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Antioch CA health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Antioch CA, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Antioch California
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each college before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Antioch CA.