How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Azusa CA
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Azusa CA is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, many prospective students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools 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 variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant 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 reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Azusa CA laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Azusa CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Azusa CA employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the main 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Azusa CA students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college 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 quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Azusa CA medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Azusa CA in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example 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 superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Azusa CA job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Azusa CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Azusa CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Azusa CA health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Azusa CA, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy 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 health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Azusa CA.