How to Find the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Baldwin Park CA
Picking the right phlebotomist training near Baldwin Park CA is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, most potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind 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 need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After 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 procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Baldwin Park CA labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Baldwin Park CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic 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, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Baldwin Park CA employers require certification before employing 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Baldwin Park CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked 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 as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example 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 quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Baldwin Park CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Baldwin Park CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask 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 filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Baldwin Park CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Baldwin Park CA medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night 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, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical 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.
Learn How to Become a Phlebotomist
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Baldwin Park California
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ somewhat across the country 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 carefully screen and compare each program before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Baldwin Park CA.