How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Azusa CA
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Azusa CA is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Azusa CA laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Azusa CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Azusa CA employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Azusa CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type 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 significant if you will be commuting from Azusa CA in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, 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 clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. 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 prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Azusa CA job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Azusa CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At 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 clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Azusa CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Azusa CA medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Azusa CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Azusa California
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Azusa CA.