How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Baldwin Park CA
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy training near Baldwin Park CA is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, most students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Baldwin Park CA labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Baldwin Park CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing 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 drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Baldwin Park CA employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations 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 phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
First, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Baldwin Park CA students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Baldwin Park CA as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. 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 working and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Baldwin Park CA job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools 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 screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with some Baldwin Park CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out 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 total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Baldwin Park CA medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Baldwin Park CA medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Baldwin Park CA, check that they are offered 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 clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Baldwin Park California
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Baldwin Park CA.