How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech School near Banning CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Banning CA is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, most prospective students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. 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 ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples 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 verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Banning CA laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Banning CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, many Banning CA employers look for certification before 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. 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 on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical option for many Banning CA students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you 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 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 college 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 online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Banning CA job market.
What is the School'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 out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with some Banning CA clinics or hospitals that you might 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 ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training typically not obtainable 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 phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Banning CA health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Banning CA, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Banning California
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each college before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Banning CA.