How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Apple Valley CA
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Apple Valley CA is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, most students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish 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 prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Apple Valley CA laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Apple Valley CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain 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 working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Apple Valley CA employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the primary certifying agencies 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, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Apple Valley CA students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Apple Valley CA as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing 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 practicing and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Apple Valley CA job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start 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 organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Apple Valley CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. 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 full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Apple Valley CA health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Apple Valley CA health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the final college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Apple Valley CA, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Apple Valley California
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a variety of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Apple Valley CA.