How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near Bellflower CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Bellflower CA is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk 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 comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Bellflower CA laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Bellflower CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting 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 senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with 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, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Bellflower CA employers require 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Bellflower CA students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Bellflower CA medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming 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 college is significant if you will be commuting from Bellflower CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very 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 all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school 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 several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior 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 organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Bellflower CA job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all 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 research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Bellflower CA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with 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 phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Bellflower CA health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Bellflower CA healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Bellflower CA, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study 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 in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Bellflower California
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bellflower CA.