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Become a Phlebotomist in Bell Gardens California

How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Bell Gardens CA

Bell Gardens CA phlebotomist drawing bloodEnrolling in the ideal phlebotomy school near Bell Gardens CA is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.

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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary

Bell Gardens CA phlebotomy laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Bell Gardens CA labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?

The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Bell Gardens CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing

blood testing done in Bell Gardens CA laboratoryThere 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 offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Bell Gardens CA employers require 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomy Online Schools

Bell Gardens California woman attending phlebotomy school onlineTo start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for some Bell Gardens CA students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.

Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?

Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Bell Gardens CA medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs

What to ask Bell Gardens CA phlebotomy schoolsNow that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant 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 school. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before 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 enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may have to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages 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 administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive 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 schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with several Bell Gardens CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Ample Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical 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 are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer 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 school has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Bell Gardens CA healthcare community.

Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night 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, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.

Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Bell Gardens California

Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bell Gardens CA.