How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Antioch CA
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy school near Antioch CA is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online classes 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 including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately 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 an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Antioch CA laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Antioch CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, many Antioch CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
First, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Antioch CA students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Antioch CA as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as 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 premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Antioch CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with some Antioch CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help 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 job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Antioch CA healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Antioch CA, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. 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 find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Antioch California
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a variety of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Antioch CA.