How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Apple Valley CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Apple Valley CA is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, many students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing 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 resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Apple Valley CA labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Apple Valley CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method 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 phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, most Apple Valley CA employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main certifying agencies 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, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for many Apple Valley CA students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus 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 an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps 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 national or regional 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 premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Apple Valley CA job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all 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 assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Apple Valley CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? 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 phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Apple Valley CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Apple Valley CA medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true 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, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Apple Valley California
Making certain that you pick 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 a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a number of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Apple Valley CA.