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Become a Phlebotomist in Apple Valley California

How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Apple Valley CA

Apple Valley CA phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientChoosing the right phlebotomist training near Apple Valley CA is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most prospective students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should 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 reviewing 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 resume our conversation about online training.

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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary

Apple Valley CA phlebotomist laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Apple Valley CA labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Work?

The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, including Apple Valley CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.

Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing

blood testing performed in Apple Valley CA laboratoryThere are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Apple Valley CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the principal certifying agencies 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 phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees

Apple Valley California woman attending phlebotomy training onlineTo start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for many Apple Valley CA students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.

Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?

First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a medical 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 anxious in hospitals or other Apple Valley CA medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.

What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges

What to ask Apple Valley CA phlebotomy schoolsSince you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Apple Valley CA in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. 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 working and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance 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 getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Apple Valley CA job market.

What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer 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 also. You can even talk to several Apple Valley CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer 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 find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Apple Valley CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at offer 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 an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Apple Valley CA medical community.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Apple Valley CA, check that they are available at those times. Also, 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 certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.

Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Apple Valley California

Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a variety of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Apple Valley CA.