How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Beaumont CA
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy school near Beaumont CA is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most potential students begin their search by considering two 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 classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Beaumont CA labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Beaumont CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based 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 solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. 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 on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a basic 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 incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Beaumont CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out 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-practical component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Beaumont CA students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the short answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Beaumont CA medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, 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 certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Beaumont CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick 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 school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Beaumont CA job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Beaumont CA hospitals or clinics that you may 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 submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, 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 looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Beaumont CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage 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 as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Beaumont CA medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Beaumont CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Beaumont California
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Beaumont CA.