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Become a Phlebotomist in Azusa California

How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist School near Azusa CA

Azusa CA phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientEnrolling in the ideal phlebotomist school near Azusa CA is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, many potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description

Azusa CA phlebotomy laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Azusa CA labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Practice?

The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Azusa CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing

blood analysis done in Azusa CA laboratoryThere are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, most Azusa CA employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations include:

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

There are several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Phlebotomy Online Classes

Azusa California woman attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Azusa CA students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive 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 attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs

Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start 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 school is important if you will be commuting from Azusa CA as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, 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 premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Azusa CA job market.

What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Azusa CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.

Is Plenty of Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At 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 clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.

Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Azusa CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at 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 together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Azusa CA medical community.

Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Azusa CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.

Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Azusa California

Azusa CA phlebotomy lab blood testingMaking certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Azusa CA.