How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Bakersfield CA
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician school near Bakersfield CA is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider 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 remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing 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 conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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 in fact work in Bakersfield CA laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Bakersfield CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in most states, most Bakersfield CA employers require certification prior to employing 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online 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 course of study 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 portion of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for many Bakersfield CA students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Bakersfield CA medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Bakersfield CA in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Bakersfield CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little 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 investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with several Bakersfield CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, check with 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Bakersfield CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority 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 healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bakersfield CA, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Bakersfield California
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a wide range of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bakersfield CA.