How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Course near Bell Gardens CA
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Bell Gardens CA is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide 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 afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Bell Gardens CA laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Bell Gardens CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Bell Gardens 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of 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 can be a more convenient alternative for some Bell Gardens CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Bell Gardens CA medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant 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 phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, 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 a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Bell Gardens CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Bell Gardens CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Bell Gardens CA medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job 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 rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Bell Gardens CA health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bell Gardens CA, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even 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 due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Bell Gardens California
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bell Gardens CA.