How to Find the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Arcadia CA
Choosing the right phlebotomist training near Arcadia CA is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, most students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might 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 you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Arcadia CA labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Arcadia CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Arcadia CA employers require certification prior to employing 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
First, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Arcadia CA students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Arcadia CA medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Arcadia CA as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Arcadia CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Arcadia CA clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? 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 classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Arcadia CA health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Arcadia CA medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Arcadia CA, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. 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 need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Arcadia California
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary slightly across the country as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Arcadia CA.