How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Bell CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Bell CA is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, many potential students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal 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 Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Bell CA labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly 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, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Bell CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Bell CA employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the main 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Bell CA students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in 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 quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Bell CA as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school 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 minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Bell CA clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Bell CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing 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 college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Bell CA health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly 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, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Bell California
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program 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 best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bell CA.