How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Bell Gardens CA
Picking the right phlebotomist training near Bell Gardens CA is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation 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 should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Bell Gardens CA laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Bell Gardens CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, many Bell Gardens CA employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for many Bell Gardens CA students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college 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 quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked 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 Bell Gardens CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Bell Gardens CA job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Bell Gardens CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Bell Gardens CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Bell Gardens CA medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the final program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bell Gardens CA, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Bell Gardens California
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential 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 quality college. Phlebotomy training 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 comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each program 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 pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bell Gardens CA.