How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Arden Arcade CA
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician school near Arden Arcade CA is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, most potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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 actually work in Arden Arcade CA laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest 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 are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Arden Arcade CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility 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 exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Arden Arcade CA employers require 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, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for some Arden Arcade CA students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Arden Arcade CA in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with 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 School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in 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 many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Arden Arcade CA job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start 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 agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Arden Arcade CA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested 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 grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Arden Arcade CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Arden Arcade CA medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Arden Arcade CA, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, 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 ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Arden Arcade California
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Arden Arcade CA.