How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Arcadia CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Arcadia CA is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most prospective students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Arcadia CA laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Arcadia CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest 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 provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available 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 provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Arcadia CA employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the key 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion 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. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Arcadia CA students. As an added benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Arcadia CA as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits 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 qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective 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 phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Arcadia CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask 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 submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Arcadia CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position 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 college has a higher rate, meaning they place most 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 healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Arcadia CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Arcadia California
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a number of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Arcadia CA.