How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Arden Arcade CA
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Arden Arcade CA is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to 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 cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While 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 check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed 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 an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Arden Arcade CA laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Arden Arcade CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Arden Arcade CA employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key certifying agencies 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, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Arden Arcade CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy 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 quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen 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 campus is important if you will be commuting from Arden Arcade CA as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements 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 before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected 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 in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Arden Arcade CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. 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 solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact several Arden Arcade CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? 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 phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Arden Arcade CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive 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 school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Arden Arcade CA, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Arden Arcade California
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a number of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Arden Arcade CA.