How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Arden Arcade CA
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist school near Arden Arcade CA is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Arden Arcade CA labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Arden Arcade CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing 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 exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing 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 Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education together 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 phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, most Arden Arcade CA employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the principal 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 essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted 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. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Arden Arcade CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Arden Arcade CA medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you want 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. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting 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 schools you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Arden Arcade CA job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Arden Arcade CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest 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 submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering 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 provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Arden Arcade CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Arden Arcade CA medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the final college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Arden Arcade CA, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Arden Arcade California
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Arden Arcade CA.