How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Azusa CA
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician school near Azusa CA is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss 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 comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Azusa CA labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Azusa CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Azusa CA employers require certification prior to 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the program of studies 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 in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Azusa CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Azusa CA medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Azusa CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Azusa CA job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Azusa CA clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Azusa CA health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Azusa CA health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Azusa CA, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near Azusa California
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Azusa CA.