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Become a Phlebotomist in Baldwin Park California

How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Baldwin Park CA

Baldwin Park CA phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientPicking the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Baldwin Park CA is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss 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 finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description

Baldwin Park CA phlebotomy lab technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Baldwin Park CA laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Work?

The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Baldwin Park CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing

blood testing done in Baldwin Park CA labThere are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available 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 be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Baldwin Park CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the principal 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 phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomist Training

Baldwin Park CA student attending phlebotomy school onlineFirst, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Baldwin Park CA students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online 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 right option for you.

What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs

Since you now have a basic idea 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 want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Baldwin Park CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at 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. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Baldwin Park CA job market.

What is the College'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 important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references 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 check with a few Baldwin Park CA clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask 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 submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.

Is Adequate Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.

Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Baldwin Park CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage 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 as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Baldwin Park CA health care community.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Baldwin Park CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

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Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Baldwin Park California

Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is a critical 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 premium program. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary somewhat from state to state 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 research and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Baldwin Park CA.