How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist School near Banning CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Banning CA is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk 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 locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant 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 evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed 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 in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Banning CA labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Banning CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Banning CA employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical option for many Banning CA students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to 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 Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you want 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 cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school 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 minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with several Banning CA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, 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 phlebotomy program that you are considering 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 expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Banning CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Banning CA health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to verify that the final college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Banning CA, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Banning California
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary slightly across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Banning CA.