How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Arcadia CA
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Arcadia CA is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, most prospective students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online classes 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 closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able 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 can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Arcadia CA labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Arcadia CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, many Arcadia CA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations 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 phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for some Arcadia CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Arcadia CA medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights 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 compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Arcadia CA in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have 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 preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Arcadia CA job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact several Arcadia CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, 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 phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Arcadia CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Arcadia CA healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Arcadia CA, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Arcadia California
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential 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 go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Arcadia CA.