How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Bakersfield CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Bakersfield CA is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, most potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision 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 pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able 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 screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Bakersfield CA laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Bakersfield CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Bakersfield CA employers look for certification prior to hiring 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for some Bakersfield CA students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Bakersfield CA as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, 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 a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Bakersfield CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Bakersfield CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact 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 reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Bakersfield CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Bakersfield CA medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Bakersfield CA, make certain they are available at those times. Also, 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 find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Bakersfield California
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bakersfield CA.