How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Bell CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Bell CA is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive 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. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select 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 schools.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Bell CA labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Bell CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Bell CA employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations 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, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Bell CA students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Bell CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Bell CA job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Bell CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Bell CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Bell CA healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bell CA, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training near Bell California
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bell CA.