How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Banning CA
Picking the right phlebotomist training near Banning CA is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, most potential students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Banning CA laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Banning CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. 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 junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, most Banning CA employers require certification prior to employing 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Banning CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Banning CA in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable 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 school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Banning CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several 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 contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Banning CA medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position 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 rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Banning CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Banning CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Banning California
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Banning CA.