How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Bell CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomist school near Bell CA is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being used 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 accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Bell CA laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Bell CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, 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 collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, many Bell CA employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Bell CA students. As an added benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Bell CA in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able 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 often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Bell CA job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start 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 agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact several Bell CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn 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 (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges 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 practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Bell CA health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Bell CA medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Bell CA, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Bell California
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a number of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bell CA.