How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Beaumont CA
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician training near Beaumont CA is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing 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 conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Beaumont CA laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Beaumont CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as 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 include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, many Beaumont CA employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the primary 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 phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get 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 approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for many Beaumont CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Beaumont CA medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked 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 campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Beaumont CA as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at 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 ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. 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 working and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized 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 program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Beaumont CA job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Beaumont CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Beaumont CA medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Beaumont CA medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to 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 part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical 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 because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Beaumont California
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Beaumont CA.