How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Bell Gardens CA
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Bell Gardens CA is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Bell Gardens CA laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Bell Gardens CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Bell Gardens CA employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the key 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 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 essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Bell Gardens CA students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Bell Gardens CA in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification 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 prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as 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 offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Bell Gardens CA job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Bell Gardens CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working 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 reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Bell Gardens CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Bell Gardens CA health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bell Gardens CA, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, 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 policy is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Bell Gardens California
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bell Gardens CA.