How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Arden Arcade CA
Picking the right phlebotomy school near Arden Arcade CA is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online schools 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 need to be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Arden Arcade CA labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Arden Arcade CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest 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 phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Arden Arcade CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
First, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Arden Arcade CA students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Arden Arcade CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected 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 school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Arden Arcade CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy 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 any colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Arden Arcade CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Arden Arcade CA health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Arden Arcade CA medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Arden Arcade CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And 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 due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Arden Arcade California
Making certain that you select the right 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 multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Arden Arcade CA.