How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Bell CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Bell CA is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare each of the training 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, a large number of students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor 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 reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Bell CA labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Bell CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Bell CA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the primary 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Bell CA students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Bell CA medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general idea 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 wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Bell CA as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies 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 respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Bell CA job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. 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 screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact several Bell CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As 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 less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Bell CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Bell CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to verify that the final college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bell CA, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Bell California
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bell CA.