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Become a Phlebotomist in Bell Gardens California

How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy School near Bell Gardens CA

Bell Gardens CA phlebotomist drawing bloodEnrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Bell Gardens CA is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.

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Phlebotomist Career Description

Bell Gardens CA phlebotomy laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Bell Gardens CA laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?

The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, such as Bell Gardens CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.

Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing

blood analysis performed in Bell Gardens CA labThere are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Bell Gardens CA employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the principal certifying organizations 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 phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomist Colleges

Bell Gardens CA student attending phlebotomy school onlineTo start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for some Bell Gardens CA students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.

Should You Go to School to Become 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 medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Bell Gardens CA medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs

Questions to ask Bell Gardens CA phlebotomy schoolsNow that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Bell Gardens CA as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, 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 requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Bell Gardens CA job market.

What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit 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 provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Ample Training Provided? First, contact 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 looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Bell Gardens CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Bell Gardens CA healthcare community.

Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to school. 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. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Bell Gardens California

Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bell Gardens CA.