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Become a Phlebotomist in Baldwin Park California

How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Baldwin Park CA

Baldwin Park CA phlebotomist drawing blood from patientSelecting the right phlebotomist training near Baldwin Park CA is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. 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 cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.

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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description

Baldwin Park CA phlebotomy lab technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly 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 in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Baldwin Park CA labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?

The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Baldwin Park CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing

blood analysis done in Baldwin Park CA laboratoryThere are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, a number of Baldwin Park CA employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the key certifying agencies include:

  • National Phlebotomy Association
  • National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
  • American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
  • American Medical Technologists (AMT)

There are a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomy Classes

Baldwin Park CA student attending phlebotomy training onlineTo begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion 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 less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.

Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?

Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Baldwin Park CA medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs

What to ask Baldwin Park CA phlebotomy schoolsNow that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Baldwin Park CA as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for 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 not available for non-accredited programs. Last, 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 Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out 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 assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Baldwin Park CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. 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 full compliance.

Is Plenty of Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing 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 considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.

Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Baldwin Park CA health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Baldwin Park CA healthcare community.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Baldwin Park CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.

Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Baldwin Park California

Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Baldwin Park CA.