How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Antioch CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Antioch CA is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Antioch CA laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic answer 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 can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that provide 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 provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in most states, many Antioch CA employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Antioch CA students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type 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 in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College 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 school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable 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 School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all 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 research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact several Antioch CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Antioch CA health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Antioch CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Antioch CA, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Antioch California
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Antioch CA.