How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Arcadia CA
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Arcadia CA is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Arcadia CA laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Arcadia CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of 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 solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in most states, most Arcadia CA employers look for certification prior to hiring 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Arcadia CA students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Arcadia CA medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Arcadia CA in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist 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 benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Arcadia CA job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Arcadia CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Arcadia CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Arcadia CA medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Arcadia CA, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, 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 find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Arcadia California
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Arcadia CA.