How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Arden Arcade CA
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Arden Arcade CA is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much 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 reviewing 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 continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point 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 may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Arden Arcade CA labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, including Arden Arcade CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Arden Arcade CA employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. 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 premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Arden Arcade CA students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Arden Arcade CA medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Arden Arcade CA in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select 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 examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Arden Arcade CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools 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 placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Arden Arcade CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Arden Arcade CA medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Arden Arcade CA medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you opt 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 offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Arden Arcade California
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a number of academic 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. Course offerings may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Arden Arcade CA.