How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Arden Arcade CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Arden Arcade CA is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, many prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating 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 discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time 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 screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Arden Arcade CA laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Arden Arcade CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Arden Arcade CA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Arden Arcade CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Arden Arcade CA as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Arden Arcade CA job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. 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 offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working 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 below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Arden Arcade CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help 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 higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Arden Arcade CA health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the final college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Arden Arcade CA, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical 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 have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Arden Arcade California
Making certain that you pick 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 a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Arden Arcade CA.