How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Bellflower CA
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Bellflower CA is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. 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 in fact work in Bellflower CA laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Bellflower CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Bellflower CA employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum 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. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Bellflower CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you wish 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 as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills 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 School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Bellflower CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all 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 solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Bellflower CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Bellflower CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Bellflower CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bellflower CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Bellflower California
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bellflower CA.