How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Bakersfield CA
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near Bakersfield CA is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most potential students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Bakersfield CA labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Bakersfield CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting 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 practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Bakersfield CA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the principal 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, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Bakersfield CA students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you select 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 premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Bakersfield CA medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Bakersfield CA as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy 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 prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before 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 choose a phlebotomy 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 College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many 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 examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing 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 potential employers in the Bakersfield CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. 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 online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with several Bakersfield CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. 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 Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Bakersfield CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide 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 college has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Bakersfield CA health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Bakersfield CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, 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 certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Bakersfield California
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bakersfield CA.