How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Antioch CA
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Antioch CA is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit 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 locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports 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 in fact work in Antioch CA laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Antioch CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Antioch CA employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the key 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for some Antioch CA students. As an added benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option 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 already discussed, the short definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Antioch CA medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Antioch CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee 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 offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable 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 those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Antioch CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? 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 clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Antioch CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering 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 school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Antioch CA medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Antioch CA, make certain 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 practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Antioch California
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Antioch CA.