How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Training Course near Atascadero CA
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near Atascadero CA is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. 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. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Atascadero CA labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Atascadero CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only 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, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Atascadero CA employers look for certification before 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be practical 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 in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many Atascadero CA students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Atascadero CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several 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 qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Atascadero CA job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with several Atascadero CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Atascadero CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Atascadero CA medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Atascadero CA, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm 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 procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Atascadero California
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Atascadero CA.