How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Bell CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Bell CA is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, many potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. 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 actually work in Bell CA labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Bell CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. 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 typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Bell CA employers look for 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study 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 component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Bell CA students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Bell CA medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you wish 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 CA as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Bell CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Bell CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Bell CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Bell CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to verify that the final school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bell CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Bell California
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bell CA.