How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Baldwin Park CA
Picking the right phlebotomy technician school near Baldwin Park CA is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, most students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Baldwin Park CA laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Baldwin Park CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Baldwin Park CA employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the main 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Baldwin Park CA students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Baldwin Park CA medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin 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 mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Baldwin Park CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification 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 preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several 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 offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Baldwin Park CA job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact some Baldwin Park CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Baldwin Park CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask 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 most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Baldwin Park CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Baldwin Park CA, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, 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 policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Baldwin Park California
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a wide range of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Baldwin Park CA.