How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Arden Arcade CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near Arden Arcade CA is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, many students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss 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 closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time 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 tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually 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 duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Arden Arcade CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in most states, a number of Arden Arcade CA employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component 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. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for some Arden Arcade CA students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Arden Arcade CA in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school 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 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 imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Arden Arcade CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide 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 expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Arden Arcade CA medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Arden Arcade CA health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to verify that the final school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you opt 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. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Arden Arcade California
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Arden Arcade CA.