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Become a Phlebotomist in Baldwin Park California

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

Baldwin Park CA phlebotomy tech drawing bloodEnrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Baldwin Park CA is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should 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 continue our conversation about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary

Baldwin Park CA phlebotomy laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Baldwin Park CA laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?

The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, 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 phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing

blood analysis done in Baldwin Park CA labThere are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education together with 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, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, many Baldwin Park CA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the primary 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomy Schools

Baldwin Park CA woman attending phlebotomy training onlineTo start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist 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. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for many Baldwin Park CA students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.

What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools

Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Baldwin Park CA as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies 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 recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Baldwin Park CA job market.

What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with some Baldwin Park CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.

Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Baldwin Park CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing 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 a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Baldwin Park CA medical community.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Baldwin Park CA, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study 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 should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.

Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Baldwin Park California

Baldwin Park CA phlebotomist laboratory blood analysisMaking certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Baldwin Park CA.