How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Banning CA
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Banning CA is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. 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 choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately 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 can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Banning CA labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Banning CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Banning CA employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the key 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the course of study 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-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Banning CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality 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 right choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Banning CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional 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 premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Banning CA job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, 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 considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Banning CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Banning CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Banning CA health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Banning CA, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even 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 protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Banning California
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Banning CA.