How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Arcadia CA
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician school near Arcadia CA is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most potential students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. 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 select 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 schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Arcadia CA labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Arcadia CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, most Arcadia CA employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the key 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Arcadia CA students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Arcadia CA as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, 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 prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify 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 frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Arcadia CA job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Arcadia CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer 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 colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As 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 clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Arcadia CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Arcadia CA health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Arcadia CA, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, 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 practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Arcadia California
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Arcadia CA.