How to Find the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Azusa CA
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Azusa CA is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, many prospective students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Azusa CA laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, including Azusa CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as 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 phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, most Azusa CA employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary certifying organizations 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion 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. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Azusa CA students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on 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 college is relevant if you will be commuting from Azusa CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Azusa CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? 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 in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Azusa CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided 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 Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing provide 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 health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Azusa CA, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Azusa California
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a number of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Azusa CA.