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Become a Phlebotomist in Bakersfield California

How to Find the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Bakersfield CA

Bakersfield CA phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientPicking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Bakersfield CA is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, most potential students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might 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 you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.

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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary

Bakersfield CA phlebotomy lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Bakersfield CA labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Work?

The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Bakersfield CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.

Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification

blood testing done in Bakersfield CA labThere are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Bakersfield 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomist Training

Bakersfield CA student attending phlebotomy school onlineTo start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for many Bakersfield CA students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.

Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?

Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Bakersfield CA medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.

What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs

Questions to ask Bakersfield CA phlebotomy schoolsNow that you have a basic 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 type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Bakersfield CA as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Bakersfield CA job market.

What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Bakersfield CA clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Ample Training Included? 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 clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.

Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Bakersfield CA medical community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Bakersfield CA health care community.

Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the final college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Bakersfield CA, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.

Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Bakersfield California

Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school 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 select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bakersfield CA.