How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Arcadia CA
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy school near Arcadia CA is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, many prospective students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact 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 has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Arcadia CA labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Arcadia CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers 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 include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in most states, a number of Arcadia CA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the key certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Arcadia CA students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Arcadia CA medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on 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 significant if you will be commuting from Arcadia CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing 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 complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Arcadia CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Arcadia CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At 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 signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Arcadia CA health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate 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 as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Arcadia CA healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Arcadia CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Arcadia California
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Arcadia CA.