How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Beaumont CA
Picking the right phlebotomy technician school near Beaumont CA is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, many potential students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk 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 locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal function, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, 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 delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Beaumont CA labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Beaumont CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education along with 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Beaumont CA employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the main certifying organizations 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for some Beaumont CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Beaumont CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy 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. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Beaumont CA job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some Beaumont CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough 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 phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Beaumont CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Beaumont CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Beaumont CA, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Beaumont California
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Beaumont CA.