How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Azusa CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Azusa CA is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, most students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes 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 finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will provide 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 address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly 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 laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Azusa CA labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Azusa CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method 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 require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Azusa CA employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the course of study 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 part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for some Azusa CA students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school 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 college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Azusa CA job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Azusa CA clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of 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 length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Azusa CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot 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 higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Azusa CA medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Azusa CA, make sure 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 practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Azusa California
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Azusa CA.