How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Apple Valley CA
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Apple Valley CA is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider 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 a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Apple Valley CA laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Apple Valley CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, many Apple Valley CA employers require certification before 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, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical option for some Apple Valley CA students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, few people probably 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 naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious 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. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you want 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 cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Apple Valley CA job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact some Apple Valley CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Apple Valley CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Apple Valley CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending college. 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, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend 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 have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Apple Valley California
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Apple Valley CA.