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Become a Phlebotomist in Bell California

How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Bell CA

Bell CA phlebotomist drawing blood from patientEnrolling in the ideal phlebotomy school near Bell CA is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many potential students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description

Bell CA phlebotomist laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Bell CA labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomists Employed?

The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Bell CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.

Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification

blood testing done in Bell CA laboratoryThere are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route 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. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Bell CA employers look for certification before 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomist Online Training

Bell CA woman attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Bell CA students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges

Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Bell CA as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification 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 any examinations you may have to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Bell CA job market.

What is the School'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 in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. 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 screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Bell CA clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Plenty of Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 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 comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.

Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Bell CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Bell CA health care community.

Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to verify that the final school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Bell CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, 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 practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.

Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near Bell California

Bell CA phlebotomy lab blood analysisMaking sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each college before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bell CA.