How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Arden Arcade CA
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Arden Arcade CA is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, many potential students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may 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 you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision 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 reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Arden Arcade CA laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, including Arden Arcade CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Arden Arcade 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, 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 quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for many Arden Arcade CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Arden Arcade CA as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have 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 practicing and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Arden Arcade CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several Arden Arcade CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample 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 classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Arden Arcade CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Arden Arcade CA health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Arden Arcade CA, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical 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 emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Arden Arcade California
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Arden Arcade CA.