How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Baldwin Park CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist training near Baldwin Park CA is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, many prospective students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able 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 may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Baldwin Park CA laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Baldwin Park CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, many Baldwin Park CA employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main certifying agencies 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the curriculum 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 completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Baldwin Park CA students. As an added benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in 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 means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
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 selected 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 college is significant if you will be commuting from Baldwin Park CA as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages 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 sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Baldwin Park CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Baldwin Park CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Baldwin Park CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Baldwin Park CA healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's important to make sure that the final college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to 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, make sure 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 completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Baldwin Park California
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Baldwin Park CA.