How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Arcadia CA
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Arcadia CA is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, many potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish 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 before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Arcadia CA labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Arcadia CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, 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 every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as 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, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Arcadia CA employers require 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Arcadia CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Arcadia CA as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Arcadia CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative 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 screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Arcadia CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out 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 working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Arcadia CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Arcadia CA health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Arcadia CA, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure 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 completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near Arcadia California
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a variety of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school prior to 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 appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Arcadia CA.