How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Antioch CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Antioch CA is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply 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 before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time 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 tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Antioch CA labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, such as Antioch CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. 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. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Antioch CA employers require 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies 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 completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for many Antioch CA students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose 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 quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin 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 important if you will be commuting from Antioch CA as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Antioch CA job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. 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 screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact some Antioch CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask 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 submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Antioch CA health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Antioch CA health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Antioch CA, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical 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 as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near Antioch California
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a wide range 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 offerings can vary slightly across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Antioch CA.