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Become a Phlebotomist in Bell California

How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Bell CA

Bell CA phlebotomist drawing bloodSelecting the right phlebotomist school near Bell CA is an important initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must 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 assessing 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 continue our discussion about online training.

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Phlebotomist Career Summary

Bell CA phlebotomy lab technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments 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 correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Bell CA labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Practice?

The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Bell CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.

Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing

blood analysis done in Bell CA labThere are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, most Bell CA employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying agencies 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees

Bell California student attending phlebotomy classes onlineFirst, let's dispel one possible misconception. 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. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Bell CA students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools

Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Bell CA in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may have to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Bell CA job market.

What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates 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 also check with some Bell CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Enough Training Provided? 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.

Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Bell CA medical community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy 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 percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Bell CA healthcare community.

Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Bell CA, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.

Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Bell California

Bell CA phlebotomy lab blood analysisMaking sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, 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 achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bell CA.