How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Arcadia CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Arcadia CA is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each 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 fact, a large number of potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal 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 Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly 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 in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Arcadia CA laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Arcadia CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Arcadia CA employers look for certification before hiring 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, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Arcadia CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Arcadia CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online 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 making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, 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 School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Arcadia CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may 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 regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Arcadia CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Arcadia CA health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Arcadia CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Arcadia California
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a variety of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Arcadia CA.