How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Antioch CA
Choosing the right phlebotomist training near Antioch CA is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible 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 start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review 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 finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Antioch CA labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Antioch CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only 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, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a general education together 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 phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Antioch CA employers require certification before 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for some Antioch CA students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a health care 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 not comfortable in hospitals or other Antioch CA medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
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 picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school 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 phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Antioch CA job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Antioch CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Antioch CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Antioch CA medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Antioch CA, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Antioch California
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Antioch CA.