How to Find the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Bellflower CA
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Bellflower CA is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need 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 important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Bellflower CA laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Bellflower CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind 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 drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a general education as well as 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Bellflower CA employers require 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Bellflower CA students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected 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 campus is important if you will be commuting from Bellflower CA in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several 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 might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium 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 previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. 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 School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several Bellflower CA clinics or hospitals 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 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 clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Bellflower CA healthcare community. And they look good 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. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Bellflower CA medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to 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 attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Bellflower California
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bellflower CA.