How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Baldwin Park CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Baldwin Park CA is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened 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 analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Baldwin Park CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available 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 extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
First, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for many Baldwin Park CA students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Baldwin Park CA as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select 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 Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Baldwin Park CA job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Baldwin Park CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional 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 Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying 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 Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Baldwin Park CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Baldwin Park California
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a variety of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Baldwin Park CA.