How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Antioch CA
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Antioch CA is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, most potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out 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 too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Antioch CA labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Antioch CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means 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 phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Antioch CA employers require certification prior to employing 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Antioch CA students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. 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 phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification 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 prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Antioch CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Antioch CA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy 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 less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Antioch CA health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support 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 higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Antioch CA health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Antioch CA, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. 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 because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Antioch California
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each college before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Antioch CA.