How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Arden Arcade CA
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near Arden Arcade CA is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Arden Arcade CA laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Arden Arcade CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely 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 collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Arden Arcade CA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the principal 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, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Arden Arcade CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on 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 Arden Arcade CA as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of 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 take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Arden Arcade CA job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. 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 reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Arden Arcade CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final 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 Provided? First, 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Arden Arcade CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Arden Arcade CA health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the final college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Arden Arcade CA, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Learn How to Become a Phlebotomist
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Arden Arcade California
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Arden Arcade CA.