How to Find the Best Phlebotomist School near Azusa CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Azusa CA is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should 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 select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Azusa CA labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Azusa CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, a number of Azusa CA employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the main certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Azusa CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Azusa CA in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from 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 previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Azusa CA job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Azusa CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? 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 looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Azusa CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, 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 healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Azusa CA, make certain 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 practical training requirement, make sure 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 due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Azusa California
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Azusa CA.