How to Find the Right Phlebotomist School near Arden Arcade CA
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist school near Arden Arcade CA is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Arden Arcade CA laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Arden Arcade CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, most Arden Arcade CA employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the key certifying agencies 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for many Arden Arcade CA students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked 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 relevant 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 phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? 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 practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares 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 recognized 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 program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Arden Arcade CA job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all colleges 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 assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Arden Arcade CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not provided 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 as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Arden Arcade CA health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Arden Arcade CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend 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 in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Arden Arcade California
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Arden Arcade CA.