How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Arden Arcade CA
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician training near Arden Arcade CA is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start their search by looking at 2 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 local campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools 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 variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Arden Arcade CA laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Arden Arcade CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education as well as 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 incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, many Arden Arcade CA employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the main 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 phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out 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 portion of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Arden Arcade CA students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in 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 premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start 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 campus is important if you will be commuting from Arden Arcade CA in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, 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 prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Arden Arcade CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen 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 clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer 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 colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing 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 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 Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Arden Arcade CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much 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, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Arden Arcade CA health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Arden Arcade CA, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Arden Arcade California
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Arden Arcade CA.