How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Bakersfield CA
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician training near Bakersfield CA is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, most potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far 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 should be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply 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 prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Bakersfield CA labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Bakersfield CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, many Bakersfield CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the main certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some 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 phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain 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 approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical option for many Bakersfield CA students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you wish 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 as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Bakersfield CA job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools 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 talk to several Bakersfield CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Bakersfield CA medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Bakersfield CA medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bakersfield CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Bakersfield California
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can vary slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bakersfield CA.