How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Beaumont CA
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Beaumont CA is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Beaumont CA labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Beaumont CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Beaumont CA employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the principal certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Beaumont CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Beaumont CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy 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 many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, 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 School's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges 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 screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Beaumont CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Beaumont CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools 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 jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Beaumont CA medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the final school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Beaumont CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. 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 protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Beaumont California
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy 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 contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Beaumont CA.