How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Bellflower CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomist school near Bellflower CA is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many prospective students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point 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 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 in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Bellflower CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior 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 working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Bellflower CA employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the course of study will be clinical 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Bellflower CA students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Bellflower CA as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Bellflower CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Bellflower CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, 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 looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Bellflower CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Bellflower CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bellflower CA, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Bellflower California
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bellflower CA.