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Become a Phlebotomist in Apple Valley California

How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Apple Valley CA

Apple Valley CA phlebotomist drawing blood from patientChoosing the right phlebotomy technician school near Apple Valley CA is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.

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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description

Apple Valley CA phlebotomist laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools 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 properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Apple Valley CA labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Work?

The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Apple Valley CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing

blood testing performed in Apple Valley CA laboratoryThere are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, most Apple Valley CA employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the principal 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees

Apple Valley California student attending phlebotomy training onlineTo begin with, let's resolve one likely 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 approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Apple Valley CA students. As an added benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method 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 Train to Be a Plebotomist?

First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Apple Valley CA medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights 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 compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges

What to ask Apple Valley CA phlebotomy schoolsNow that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked 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. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, 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 readies you for any examinations you may have to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Apple Valley CA job market.

What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Apple Valley CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.

Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing 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 provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Apple Valley CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools 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 an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Apple Valley CA medical community.

Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending 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 part-time, 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 procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.

Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Apple Valley California

Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a variety of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Apple Valley CA.