How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech School near Banning CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomist school near Banning CA is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, many potential students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need 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 reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Banning CA labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Banning CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Banning CA employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares 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 resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical option for many Banning CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Banning CA as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. 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 colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills 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 program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify 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 often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Banning CA job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Banning CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out 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 full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn 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 no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? 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 get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Banning CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Banning CA health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Banning CA, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Banning California
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each school before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Banning CA.