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Become a Phlebotomist in Azusa California

How to Find the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Azusa CA

Azusa CA phlebotomist drawing bloodSelecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Azusa CA is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description

Azusa CA phlebotomy laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Azusa CA laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomists Employed?

The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Azusa CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification

blood testing performed in Azusa CA labThere are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Azusa CA employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary certifying agencies include:

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

There are a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Phlebotomy Online Classes

Azusa CA woman attending phlebotomy school onlineTo begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical option for some Azusa CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.

Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges

Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on 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 in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school 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 advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, 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 Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Azusa CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final 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 Ample Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Azusa CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Azusa CA health care community.

Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to confirm that the final school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Azusa CA, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.

Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near Azusa California

Azusa CA phlebotomist laboratory blood analysisMaking certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Azusa CA.