How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Bell Gardens CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Bell Gardens CA is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order 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 can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Bell Gardens CA laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Bell Gardens CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Bell Gardens CA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the principal 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical option for many Bell Gardens CA students. As an added benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Bell Gardens CA as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may 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 practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Bell Gardens CA job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact some Bell Gardens CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Bell Gardens CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Bell Gardens CA medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Bell Gardens CA, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Bell Gardens California
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bell Gardens CA.