How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Bell CA
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Bell CA is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, most students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools 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 locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection 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 choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Bell CA laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Bell CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component 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 completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Bell CA students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Bell CA as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with 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 School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Bell CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Bell CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of 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 phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Bell CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Bell CA medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bell CA, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study 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 in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near Bell California
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bell CA.