How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Banning CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Banning CA is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. 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 select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address 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, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Banning CA laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Banning CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Banning CA employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the principal certifying organizations 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, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Banning CA students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, 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 significant if you will be commuting from Banning CA in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very 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 exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, 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 Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Banning CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Banning CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering 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 college has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Banning CA medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to go to 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, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Banning California
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each school before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Banning CA.