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Become a Phlebotomist in Bellflower California

How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Bellflower CA

Bellflower CA phlebotomist drawing bloodChoosing the right phlebotomy training near Bellflower CA is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare all 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 superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far 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 should 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 evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.

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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary

Bellflower CA phlebotomist lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Bellflower CA labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?

The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Bellflower CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from elderly 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 environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification

blood testing performed in Bellflower CA laboratoryThere are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Bellflower CA employers look for 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Phlebotomist Online Classes

Bellflower California woman attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Bellflower CA students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive 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 degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.

Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?

First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Bellflower CA medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges

What to ask Bellflower CA phlebotomy schoolsSince you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Bellflower CA as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select 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 a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Bellflower CA job market.

What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Bellflower CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.

Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, 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 furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.

Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Bellflower CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Bellflower CA health care community.

Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bellflower CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.

Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Bellflower California

Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research 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 options so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bellflower CA.