How to Select the Right Phlebotomist School near Bell CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomy school near Bell CA is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing 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 resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Bell CA laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Bell CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Bell CA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the primary 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Bell CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Bell CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All 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 arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification 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 practicing and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Bell CA job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact some Bell CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist 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 less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Bell CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Bell CA medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Bell CA, check that 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 practical 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 due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Bell California
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bell CA.