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Become a Phlebotomist in Azusa California

How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Azusa CA

Azusa CA phlebotomist drawing bloodChoosing the right phlebotomist training near Azusa CA is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, most students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit 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 factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.

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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description

Azusa CA phlebotomy lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. 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 responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?

The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Azusa CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis performed in Azusa CA laboratoryThere are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in most states, many Azusa CA employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the principal certifying organizations include:

  • National Phlebotomy Association
  • National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
  • American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
  • American Medical Technologists (AMT)

There are some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomist Training

Azusa CA student attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Azusa CA students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.

What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs

Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Azusa CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing 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 practicing and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, 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. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, 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 School's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, 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 any schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact some Azusa CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Adequate Training Included? 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 clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Azusa CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Azusa CA health care community.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Azusa CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, 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 completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.

Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Azusa California

Azusa CA phlebotomy lab blood analysisMaking sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a number of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Azusa CA.