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Become a Phlebotomist in Bakersfield California

How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Bakersfield CA

Bakersfield CA phlebotomist drawing blood from patientPicking the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Bakersfield CA is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important 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 factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.

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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary

Bakersfield CA phlebotomist lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. 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. Some phlebotomists actually work in Bakersfield CA laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Work?

The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Bakersfield CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.

Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing

blood analysis done in Bakersfield CA laboratoryThere are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Bakersfield CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key 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, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomist Training

Bakersfield California student attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing 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 many Bakersfield CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.

Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?

First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Bakersfield CA medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.

What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges

What to ask Bakersfield CA phlebotomy schoolsNow that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Bakersfield CA as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at 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. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Bakersfield CA job market.

What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Bakersfield CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances 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 clinical and classroom. As 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 lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Bakersfield CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Bakersfield CA medical community.

Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true 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, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.

Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Bakersfield California

Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bakersfield CA.