How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Apple Valley CA
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Apple Valley CA is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, most students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Apple Valley CA laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Apple Valley CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation 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, most Apple Valley CA employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the primary 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 phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component 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. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Apple Valley CA students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Apple Valley CA medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected 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 helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Apple Valley CA in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills 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 School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as 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 quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Apple Valley CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Apple Valley CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not available 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 Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Apple Valley CA medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Apple Valley 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 attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Apple Valley California
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Apple Valley CA.