How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Bell Gardens CA
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician training near Bell Gardens CA is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, many potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed 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 an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Bell Gardens CA laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Bell Gardens CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Bell Gardens CA employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the key 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical option for many Bell Gardens CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Bell Gardens CA as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing 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 need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional 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 aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Bell Gardens CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. 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 screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Bell Gardens CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. 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 total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with 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 reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Bell Gardens CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Bell Gardens CA medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to school. 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 on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. 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 find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Bell Gardens California
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of academic institutes, 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 vary a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bell Gardens CA.