How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Baldwin Park CA
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician training near Baldwin Park CA is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, many potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should 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 reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time 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 screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Baldwin Park CA laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Baldwin Park CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method 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 to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Baldwin Park CA employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the principal certifying organizations 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Baldwin Park CA students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Baldwin Park CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with 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 phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Baldwin Park CA job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement 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 several Baldwin Park CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Baldwin Park CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Baldwin Park CA medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Baldwin Park CA, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And 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.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Baldwin Park California
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Baldwin Park CA.