How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Arcadia CA
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Arcadia CA is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk 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 cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Arcadia CA labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Arcadia CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Arcadia CA employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Arcadia CA students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
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 might have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Arcadia CA as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills 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 phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Arcadia CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact some Arcadia CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough 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 amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Arcadia CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Arcadia CA health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Arcadia CA, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Arcadia California
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Arcadia CA.