How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Azusa CA
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Azusa CA is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review 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 closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. 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 choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Azusa CA labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Azusa CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes 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 exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as 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 become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Azusa CA employers look for 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
First, let's dispel 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. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Azusa CA students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Azusa CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. 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 Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Azusa CA clinics or hospitals 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 ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Azusa CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Azusa CA healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Azusa CA, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Azusa California
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ slightly across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Azusa CA.