How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Bell CA
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Bell CA is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, many prospective students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Bell CA laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Bell CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Bell CA employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the main certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies 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 portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Bell CA students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, 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 certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Bell CA as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need 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 practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Bell CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential 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 assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Bell CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Bell CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Bell CA health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Bell CA, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Bell California
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate 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 proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bell CA.