How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Bell Gardens CA
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Bell Gardens CA is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, many prospective students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision 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 choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Bell Gardens CA labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Bell Gardens CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Bell Gardens CA employers require certification before 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical option for many Bell Gardens CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (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 earning your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Bell Gardens CA as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, 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 hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Bell Gardens CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Bell Gardens CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing 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 Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Bell Gardens CA medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Bell Gardens CA health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bell Gardens 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 as well. And 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 in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Bell Gardens California
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bell Gardens CA.