How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy School near Beaumont CA
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist school near Beaumont CA is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding 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 also. 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 select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Beaumont CA labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Beaumont CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method 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 to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Beaumont CA employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the principal 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the curriculum 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 in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Beaumont CA students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Beaumont CA in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important 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 several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college 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 little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Beaumont CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At 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 lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Beaumont CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Beaumont CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Beaumont CA, check that they are offered 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Beaumont California
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each college before 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 right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Beaumont CA.