How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy School near Beaumont CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Beaumont CA is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, most students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will furnish 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 prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Beaumont CA labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Beaumont CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 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. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Beaumont CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the primary certifying agencies 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical option for many Beaumont CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Beaumont CA medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Beaumont CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. 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 schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification 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 all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree 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 minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. 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 internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Beaumont CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Beaumont CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Beaumont CA health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to verify that the final program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to 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 on a part-time basis, make sure 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 find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training near Beaumont California
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Beaumont CA.