How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Apple Valley CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near Apple Valley CA is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, most prospective students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially 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 a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Apple Valley CA labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Apple Valley CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method 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 phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, most Apple Valley CA employers require certification before employing technicians. A few 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Apple Valley CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive 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 certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Apple Valley CA medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Apple Valley CA in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Apple Valley CA job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with several Apple Valley CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Apple Valley CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Apple Valley CA medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Apple Valley CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Apple Valley California
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Apple Valley CA.