How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Antioch CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomist school near Antioch CA is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, many potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision 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 pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Antioch CA labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Antioch CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Antioch CA employers require certification before employing technicians. Some 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Antioch CA students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Antioch CA medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required 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 Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Antioch CA as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting 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 each of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with 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 College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Antioch CA job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Antioch CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Antioch CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position 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 college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Antioch CA health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Antioch CA, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training near Antioch California
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Antioch CA.