How to Find the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Bell Gardens CA
Selecting the right phlebotomist school near Bell Gardens CA is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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 actually work in Bell Gardens CA laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Bell Gardens CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under 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 phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Bell Gardens CA employers require certification before employing technicians. A few 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Bell Gardens CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant 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 online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each 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 regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose 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 advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently 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 College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Bell Gardens CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing 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 provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Bell Gardens CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Bell Gardens CA medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night 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, make sure 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 completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Bell Gardens California
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bell Gardens CA.