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Become a Phlebotomist in Banning California

How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist School near Banning CA

Banning CA phlebotomist drawing bloodEnrolling in the ideal phlebotomy training near Banning CA is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, many prospective students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, 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 right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary

Banning CA phlebotomy lab technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Banning CA labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?

The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Banning CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.

Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis done in Banning CA labThere are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Banning CA employers look for certification prior to 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees

Banning CA student attending phlebotomy classes onlineFirst, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Banning CA students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program 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 quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.

Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?

Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the short answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Banning CA medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools

Questions to ask Banning CA phlebotomy schoolsNow that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Banning CA as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.

Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Banning CA job market.

What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. 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 place 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 also talk to several Banning CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final 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 Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.

Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Banning CA health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Banning CA medical community.

Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work 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. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify 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 policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.

Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Banning California

Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Banning CA.