How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Arden Arcade CA
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Arden Arcade CA is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant 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 assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Arden Arcade CA laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Arden Arcade CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Arden Arcade CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical option for many Arden Arcade CA students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose 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 premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Arden Arcade CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future 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 phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Arden Arcade CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At 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 clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional 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 Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Arden Arcade CA medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Arden Arcade CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical 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 as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Arden Arcade California
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Arden Arcade CA.