How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Apple Valley CA
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy training near Apple Valley CA is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, most potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. 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 prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Apple Valley CA laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Apple Valley CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Apple Valley CA employers look for 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Apple Valley CA students. As an added benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Apple Valley CA in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future 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 caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. 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 screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Apple Valley CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Apple Valley CA medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire 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 positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Apple Valley CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Apple Valley CA, make certain they are offered 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 protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Apple Valley California
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Apple Valley CA.