How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Banning CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomy school near Banning CA is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, most potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Banning CA labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Banning CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest 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 on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Banning CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Banning CA students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Banning CA medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected 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 school is relevant if you will be commuting from Banning CA as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations 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 practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for 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, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Banning CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist 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 reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Banning CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Banning CA medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Banning CA health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Banning CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
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 fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Banning CA.