How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Bell CA
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Bell CA is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Bell CA labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Bell CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type 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 collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a general education along 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 specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, most Bell CA employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key certifying agencies 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Bell CA students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Bell CA as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose 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 in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Bell CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Bell CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out 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 provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Bell CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance 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, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Bell CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to make sure that the final college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bell CA, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Bell California
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bell CA.