How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Azusa CA
Selecting the right phlebotomy training near Azusa CA is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best 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.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Azusa CA laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Azusa CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Azusa CA employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist 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.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive 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 approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for many Azusa CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Azusa CA as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as 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. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Azusa CA job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact several Azusa CA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy 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 might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Azusa CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Azusa CA health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Azusa CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Azusa California
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Azusa CA.