How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Bakersfield CA
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician school near Bakersfield CA is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, most students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest 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 furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Bakersfield CA laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Bakersfield CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing 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 samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, most Bakersfield CA employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for some Bakersfield CA students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program 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 quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate 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 college is relevant if you will be commuting from Bakersfield CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Bakersfield CA job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of 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 important to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates 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 also contact some Bakersfield CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority 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 Provided? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Bakersfield CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with 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 crucial to make sure that the final program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Bakersfield CA, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And 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 need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Bakersfield California
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a wide range of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bakersfield CA.