How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Bell CA
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician training near Bell CA is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, many potential students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might 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 you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Bell CA laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Bell CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior 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 environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 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 provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Bell CA employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the primary 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for many Bell CA students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Bell CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from 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 previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Bell CA job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Bell CA clinics or hospitals that you may 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 ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, check with 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Bell CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Bell CA medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Bell CA, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Bell California
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bell CA.