How to Select the Best Phlebotomist School near Arden Arcade CA
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy training near Arden Arcade CA is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm 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 needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Arden Arcade CA labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Arden Arcade CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, most Arden Arcade CA employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies 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 completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Arden Arcade CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Arden Arcade CA as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Arden Arcade CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin 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 solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to some 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 closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist 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 below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Arden Arcade CA health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at offer 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 a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Arden Arcade CA health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Arden Arcade CA, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend 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 should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Arden Arcade California
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Arden Arcade CA.