How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Antioch CA
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Antioch CA is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss 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 finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Antioch CA labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, 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. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely 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, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Antioch CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked 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 college is important if you will be commuting from Antioch CA as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable 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 aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Antioch CA job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with several Antioch CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide 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 colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Antioch CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Antioch CA medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Antioch CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm 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 ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Antioch California
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Antioch CA.