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Become a Phlebotomist in Baldwin Park California

How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Baldwin Park CA

Baldwin Park CA phlebotomist drawing bloodChoosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Baldwin Park CA is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many prospective students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.

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Phlebotomist Work Summary

Baldwin Park CA phlebotomist laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Baldwin Park CA laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomists Employed?

The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Baldwin Park CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing

blood analysis performed in Baldwin Park CA laboratoryThere are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available 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 provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Baldwin Park CA employers look for certification prior to 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomy Online Training

Baldwin Park California woman attending phlebotomy training onlineTo begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for some Baldwin Park CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.

Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges

Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Baldwin Park CA as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Baldwin Park CA job market.

What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with several Baldwin Park CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Plenty of Training Included? 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 clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare 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 establish contacts within the local Baldwin Park CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Baldwin Park CA healthcare community.

Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Baldwin Park CA, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.

Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Baldwin Park California

Baldwin Park CA phlebotomy lab blood testingMaking sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Baldwin Park CA.