How to Find the Right Phlebotomy School near Bellflower CA
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Bellflower CA is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain 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. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision 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 reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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 in fact work in Bellflower CA laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, including Bellflower CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Bellflower CA employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the key 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Bellflower CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Bellflower CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Bellflower CA job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all 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 assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Bellflower CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with 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 furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Bellflower CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Bellflower CA health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bellflower CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Bellflower California
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each college before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices 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 Bellflower CA.