How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist School near Banning CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist training near Banning CA is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Banning CA laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Banning CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Banning CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Banning CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. 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 extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method 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.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Banning CA medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with 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, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you wish 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. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, 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 financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Banning CA job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact some Banning CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, check with 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 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 indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Banning CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Banning CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Banning CA, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Banning California
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Banning CA.