How to Find the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Bakersfield CA
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Bakersfield CA is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, most prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant 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 reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Bakersfield CA laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Bakersfield CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing 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 newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Bakersfield CA employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations 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, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion 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. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical option for some Bakersfield CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, 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 organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Bakersfield CA in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Bakersfield CA job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact some Bakersfield CA clinics or hospitals 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 find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Bakersfield CA medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Bakersfield CA health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Bakersfield CA, make certain 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 attend online, with the clinical 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 due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Bakersfield California
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bakersfield CA.