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Become a Phlebotomist in Bell California

How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Bell CA

Bell CA phlebotomy tech drawing bloodSelecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Bell CA is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, many prospective students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary

Bell CA phlebotomy lab technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Bell CA laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Work?

The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Bell CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.

Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis performed in Bell CA laboratoryThere are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Bell CA employers require certification before hiring 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomist Online Training

Bell CA woman attending phlebotomy school onlineTo start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Bell CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.

Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?

First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Bell CA medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.

What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs

What to ask Bell CA phlebotomy schoolsSince you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate 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 previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Bell CA as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Bell CA job market.

What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students 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 also talk to a few Bell CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing 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 provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Bell CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Bell CA medical community.

Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to college. 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 part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Bell California

Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bell CA.