How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Arcadia CA
Picking the right phlebotomist school near Arcadia CA is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option 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's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly 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 an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can 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 accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Arcadia CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two 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 offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Arcadia CA employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 in order to practice 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 phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical option for some Arcadia CA students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic 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 intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Arcadia CA as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Arcadia CA job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Arcadia CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Arcadia CA health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at offer 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 program has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Arcadia CA healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Arcadia CA, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Arcadia California
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, 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 achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Arcadia CA.