How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist School near Azusa CA
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Azusa CA is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, most students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need 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 including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to 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 in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Azusa CA labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Azusa CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Azusa CA employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one potential 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. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Azusa CA students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Azusa CA medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Azusa CA in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical 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 extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Azusa CA job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Azusa CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact 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 reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Azusa CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Azusa CA medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Azusa CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Azusa California
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Azusa CA.