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Become a Phlebotomist in Arcadia California

How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Arcadia CA

Arcadia CA phlebotomy tech drawing bloodChoosing the right phlebotomy training near Arcadia CA is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, most students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description

Arcadia CA phlebotomy laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Arcadia CA labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Work?

The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Arcadia CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.

Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification

blood testing performed in Arcadia CA labThere are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Arcadia CA employers look for 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomist Training

Arcadia California woman attending phlebotomy training onlineTo begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for many Arcadia CA students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.

Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?

Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally 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 facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected 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 interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.

Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools

Questions to ask Arcadia CA phlebotomy schoolsNow that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked 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 important if you will be commuting from Arcadia CA in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may have to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree 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 a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. 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 internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact several Arcadia CA clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Ample 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 amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.

Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Arcadia CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Arcadia CA medical community.

Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Arcadia CA, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.

Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Arcadia California

Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program 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 select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Arcadia CA.