How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Bell CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Bell CA is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, most prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. 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 pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly completed to be able 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 may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Bell CA labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Bell CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic 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 phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Bell CA employers require certification prior to hiring 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Bell CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Bell CA medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. 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 phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as 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 quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Bell CA job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Bell CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools 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 amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Bell CA medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Bell CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Bell CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Bell California
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, 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 reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bell CA.