How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Bell Gardens CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Bell Gardens CA is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, many students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose 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 classes.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Bell Gardens CA labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Bell Gardens CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Bell Gardens CA employers look for certification before hiring 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for some Bell Gardens CA students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Bell Gardens CA medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to 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 will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you intend 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 in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable 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 school 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 take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college 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 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 all schools you are reviewing. 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 internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Bell Gardens CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact 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 find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Bell Gardens CA medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Bell Gardens CA medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bell Gardens CA, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, 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 policy is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Bell Gardens California
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bell Gardens CA.