How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Bellflower CA
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy school near Bellflower CA is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding 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 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 choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Bellflower CA laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Bellflower CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Bellflower CA employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the principal 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical option for some Bellflower CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the short answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Bellflower CA medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it 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 may be the right profession for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Bellflower CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. 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 programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Bellflower CA job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Bellflower CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As 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 clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Bellflower CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at 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 college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Bellflower CA health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Bellflower CA, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical 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 need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Bellflower California
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bellflower CA.