How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Arcadia CA
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Arcadia CA is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection 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 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 discussion about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Arcadia CA laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Arcadia CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Arcadia CA employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical option for some Arcadia CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a medical 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 not comfortable in hospitals or other Arcadia CA medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood 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 can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Arcadia CA as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, 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 amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program 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 administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Arcadia CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Arcadia CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist 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 below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Arcadia CA health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most 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 Arcadia CA medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Arcadia CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical 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 because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Arcadia California
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Arcadia CA.