How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Arden Arcade CA
Picking the right phlebotomy technician school near Arden Arcade CA is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, many potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit 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 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 furnish a list of questions that you need to 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 cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point 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 can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Arden Arcade CA labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Arden Arcade CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Arden Arcade CA employers look for certification prior to 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical 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 expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important 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 school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should 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 laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future 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 colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Arden Arcade CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. 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 expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Arden Arcade CA medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Arden Arcade CA medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only 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 part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain 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.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Arden Arcade California
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Arden Arcade CA.