How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Azusa CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Azusa CA is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision 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 evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. 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 actually work in Azusa CA laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing 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 Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Azusa CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Azusa CA employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the principal 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 phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for some Azusa CA students. As an added benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Azusa CA medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights 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 perfect profession for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Azusa CA in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important 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 several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Azusa CA job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Azusa CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Azusa CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Azusa CA healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Azusa CA, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend 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 should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Azusa California
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Azusa CA.