How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Baldwin Park CA
Picking the right phlebotomy technician school near Baldwin Park CA is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, most potential students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly 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 tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Baldwin Park CA laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Baldwin Park CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Baldwin Park CA employers look for certification before 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be clinical 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 component of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for some Baldwin Park CA students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program 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 receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Baldwin Park CA as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Baldwin Park CA job market.
What is the Program'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 caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact some Baldwin Park CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Baldwin Park CA medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Baldwin Park CA health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college 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 need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Baldwin Park 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 clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Baldwin Park California
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Baldwin Park CA.