How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Arden Arcade CA
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near Arden Arcade CA is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, many prospective students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point 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 may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Arden Arcade CA laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Arden Arcade CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Arden Arcade CA employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist 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 in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Arden Arcade CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best choice 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 decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Arden Arcade CA medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type 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 as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement 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 examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional 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 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 getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, 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 College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools 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 ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Arden Arcade CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. 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 colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Arden Arcade CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Arden Arcade CA medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Arden Arcade CA, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training near Arden Arcade California
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying 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. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each college 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 select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Arden Arcade CA.