How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Bell CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Bell CA is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing 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 selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Bell CA labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Bell CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely 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, 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 Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method 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. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Bell CA employers look for certification before employing 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for some Bell CA students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Become 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 selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Bell CA medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
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 might 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 school is significant if you will be commuting from Bell CA as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing 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 all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive 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 phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. 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 research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact some Bell CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Bell CA health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Bell CA health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working 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, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Bell California
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each school before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bell CA.