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Become a Phlebotomist in Antioch California

How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Antioch CA

Antioch CA phlebotomist drawing blood from patientEnrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near Antioch CA is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. 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 right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary

Antioch CA phlebotomist laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Antioch CA laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomists Employed?

The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Antioch CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.

Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing

blood analysis performed in Antioch CA laboratoryThere are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, many Antioch CA employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying organizations include:

  • National Phlebotomy Association
  • National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
  • American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
  • American Medical Technologists (AMT)

There are some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomist Schools

Antioch CA woman attending phlebotomy school onlineTo begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for some Antioch CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in 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 quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges

Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Antioch CA in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at 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 selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely 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 Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality 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 previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Antioch CA job market.

What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Antioch CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Sufficient Training Provided? 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 classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Antioch CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Antioch CA medical community.

Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend 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, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend 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.

Learn How to Become a Phlebotomist

Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Antioch California

Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Antioch CA.