How to Select the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Arden Arcade CA
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician training near Arden Arcade CA is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. 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 choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately 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 lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Some phlebotomists actually work in Arden Arcade CA laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Arden Arcade CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Arden Arcade CA employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical option for many Arden Arcade CA students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Arden Arcade CA as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares 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 reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, 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 loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating 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 numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several 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 ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added 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? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Arden Arcade CA health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to verify that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Arden Arcade CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Arden Arcade California
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Arden Arcade CA.