How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Baldwin Park CA
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy training near Baldwin Park CA is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Baldwin Park CA laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces 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 babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing 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 drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Baldwin Park CA employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Baldwin Park CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Baldwin Park CA medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights 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 perfect profession for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Baldwin Park CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. 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 preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Baldwin Park CA job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Baldwin Park CA clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges 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 practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Baldwin Park CA health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer 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 college has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Baldwin Park CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to verify that the final school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings 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, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend 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 should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Baldwin Park California
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Baldwin Park CA.