How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Banning CA
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Banning CA is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online 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 far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested 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 analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Banning CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers 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, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, most Banning CA employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the key certifying agencies 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Banning CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior 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 best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Banning CA in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example 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 superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Banning CA job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact several Banning CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn 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 furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Banning CA health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Banning CA health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Banning CA, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Banning California
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Banning CA.