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Become a Phlebotomist in Antioch California

How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Antioch CA

Antioch CA phlebotomist drawing blood from patientChoosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Antioch CA is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, many potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, 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 best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.

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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary

Antioch CA phlebotomist laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Antioch CA laboratories and are accountable for making certain 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 drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Practice?

The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Antioch CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing

blood analysis done in Antioch CA laboratoryThere are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, most Antioch CA employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main certifying agencies 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomist Classes

Antioch California woman attending phlebotomy school onlineTo start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Antioch CA students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (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 disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.

Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?

Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Antioch CA medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges

Questions to ask Antioch CA phlebotomy schoolsSince you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend 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 tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting 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 each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements 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 amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Antioch CA job market.

What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal 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 check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place 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 as well. You can even talk to several Antioch CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.

Is Ample Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering 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 expansive enough to provide sufficient training.

Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Antioch CA medical community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Antioch CA health care community.

Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Antioch CA, make certain they are offered 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 find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.

Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Antioch California

Making certain that you choose 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 several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Antioch CA.