How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Course near Baldwin Park CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Baldwin Park CA is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Baldwin Park CA laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Baldwin Park CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive 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, a number of Baldwin Park CA employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the main 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component 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 completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for some Baldwin Park CA students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Baldwin Park CA in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely 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 all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages 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 take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Baldwin Park CA job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with some Baldwin Park CA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As 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 lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Baldwin Park CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Baldwin Park CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to confirm that the final college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to 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 part-time, verify it is an option also. 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 need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Baldwin Park California
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Baldwin Park CA.