How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Banning CA
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Banning CA is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools 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 cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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 Banning CA laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Banning CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Banning CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for some Banning CA students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Banning CA as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Banning CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Banning CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. 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 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Banning CA health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Banning CA medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Banning CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Banning California
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program before 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 select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Banning CA.