How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Bell Gardens CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Bell Gardens CA is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online schools 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 accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Bell Gardens CA laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Bell Gardens CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic 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 phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Bell Gardens CA employers require certification prior to employing 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice 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 pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for many Bell Gardens CA students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). 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 earning your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Bell Gardens CA in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. 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 arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium 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 earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Bell Gardens CA job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates 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 talk to several Bell Gardens CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Bell Gardens CA health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with 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 school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Bell Gardens CA, make sure 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 study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Bell Gardens California
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each school before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bell Gardens CA.