How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Arcadia CA
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Arcadia CA is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far 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 selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Arcadia CA laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the highest 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 Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Arcadia CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, 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.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Arcadia CA employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical option for many Arcadia CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. 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. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. 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 practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior 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 getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Arcadia CA job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Arcadia CA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Arcadia CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering 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 school has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Arcadia CA medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the final program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Arcadia CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Arcadia California
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Arcadia CA.