How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Apple Valley CA
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician school near Apple Valley CA is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to investigate 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 get a superior education. In reality, many potential students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision 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 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 afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Apple Valley CA labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Apple Valley CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic 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, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical option for some Apple Valley CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Apple Valley CA medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind 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 important if you will be commuting from Apple Valley CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Apple Valley CA job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Apple Valley CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? 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 considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Apple Valley CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Apple Valley CA healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Apple Valley CA, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Apple Valley California
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a number of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Apple Valley CA.