How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Azusa CA
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Azusa CA is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, many potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially 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 classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Azusa CA laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Azusa CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Azusa CA employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the main 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be clinical 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Azusa CA students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, 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 certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Azusa CA as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working 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 satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Azusa CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Azusa CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final 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 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 clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Azusa CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Azusa CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Azusa CA, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Azusa California
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a variety of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Azusa CA.