How to Find the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Arcadia CA
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Arcadia CA is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Arcadia CA laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Arcadia CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Arcadia CA employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the main 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Arcadia CA students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Arcadia CA medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might 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 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 phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college 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 minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. 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 screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Arcadia CA clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. 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 colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Arcadia CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing provide 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 healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Arcadia CA, make sure they are offered 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 practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Arcadia California
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Arcadia CA.