How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Azusa CA
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Azusa CA is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Azusa CA laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Azusa CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Azusa CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion 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. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical option for many Azusa CA students. As an added benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Azusa CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares 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 reputable 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 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 offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree 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 minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Azusa CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, contact 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at 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 signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Azusa CA medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate 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 along with a large network of professional contacts within the Azusa CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Azusa CA, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Azusa California
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college before 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 pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Azusa CA.