How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Beaumont CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Beaumont CA is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might 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 you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must 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 assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Beaumont CA laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Beaumont CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, many Beaumont CA employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed 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-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for some Beaumont CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you select 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 quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus 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 phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program 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 aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating 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 schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references 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 organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Beaumont CA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy 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 might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Beaumont CA health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Beaumont CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Beaumont CA, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify 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 completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Beaumont California
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. 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 college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Beaumont CA.