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Become a Phlebotomist in Azusa California

How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Azusa CA

Azusa CA phlebotomist drawing bloodChoosing the right phlebotomy technician training near Azusa CA is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, most prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.

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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary

Azusa CA phlebotomist laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Azusa CA laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Practice?

The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Azusa CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, 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 newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification

blood testing performed in Azusa CA labThere are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides 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 to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Azusa CA employers require 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.

Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees

Azusa CA student attending phlebotomy school onlineFirst, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for some Azusa CA students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.

Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?

First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Azusa CA medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools

Questions to ask Azusa CA phlebotomy schoolsNow that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Azusa CA as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may have to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Azusa CA job market.

What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential 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 placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Azusa CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.

Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, 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 classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Azusa CA health care community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Azusa CA health care community.

Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Azusa CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Azusa California

Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Azusa CA.