How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Azusa CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomy training near Azusa CA is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may 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 far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision 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 training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out 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 tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Azusa CA laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Azusa CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education together with 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, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Azusa CA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the key 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Azusa CA students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the short answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Azusa CA medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Azusa CA as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Azusa CA job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all 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 research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Azusa CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? 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 classroom and practical. At 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 below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Azusa CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Azusa CA health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to verify that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Azusa CA, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. 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 policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Azusa California
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Azusa CA.