How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Course near Azusa CA
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Azusa CA is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Azusa CA laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Azusa CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Azusa CA employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. 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 provides a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Azusa CA students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a health care 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 nervous in hospitals or other Azusa CA medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, 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 interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen 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 campus is important if you will be commuting from Azusa CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Azusa CA job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Azusa CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask 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 filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Azusa CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Azusa CA medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Azusa CA, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Azusa California
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each college before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Azusa CA.