How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Azusa CA
Picking the right phlebotomist training near Azusa CA is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, many potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection 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 assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Azusa CA labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Azusa CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest 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. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Azusa CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Azusa CA students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain 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 best choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Azusa CA medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights 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 right job for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Azusa CA as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Azusa CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact several Azusa CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. 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 Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Azusa CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at 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 program 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? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Azusa CA, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Azusa California
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ slightly 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 must diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Azusa CA.