How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech School near Banning CA
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist school near Banning CA is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. 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 choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point 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 tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Banning CA labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Banning CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Banning CA employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the principal 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, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical option for many Banning CA students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Banning CA medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it 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 could be the perfect job for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic 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 kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Banning CA as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Banning CA job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Banning CA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Banning CA medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Banning CA health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Banning CA, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Banning California
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior 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 across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Banning CA.