How to Select the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Azusa CA
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Azusa CA is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, many prospective students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Azusa CA labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Azusa CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 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 provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Azusa CA employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Azusa CA students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in 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 method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Azusa CA as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, 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 unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Azusa CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. 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 solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Azusa CA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Azusa CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Azusa CA medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to verify that the final program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Azusa CA, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Azusa California
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Azusa CA.