How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Banning CA
Picking the right phlebotomy technician school near Banning CA is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, most prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might consider 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's important 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 important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. 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 pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Banning CA laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Banning CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based 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 exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, many Banning CA employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
First, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for some Banning CA students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college 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 phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Banning CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact some Banning CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing 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 looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Banning CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Banning CA health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Banning CA, make sure 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 attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Banning California
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Banning CA.