How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Arden Arcade CA
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Arden Arcade CA is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Arden Arcade CA labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Arden Arcade CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides 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, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Arden Arcade CA employers look for certification before employing 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 Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the course of study will be practical 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 in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Arden Arcade CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Arden Arcade CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available 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 a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Arden Arcade CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 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 expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Arden Arcade CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Arden Arcade CA health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Arden Arcade CA, make sure they are available 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 attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Arden Arcade California
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Arden Arcade CA.