How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech School near Baldwin Park CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Baldwin Park CA is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, most prospective students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss 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 finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating 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 classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Baldwin Park CA laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Baldwin Park CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers 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 practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education along with 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, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Baldwin Park CA employers look for certification before 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies 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 completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Baldwin Park CA students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (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 disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant 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 procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, 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 Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. 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 online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with some Baldwin Park CA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested 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 grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? 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 phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Baldwin Park CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Baldwin Park CA medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Baldwin Park CA, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend 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 in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Baldwin Park California
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Baldwin Park CA.