How to Find the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Bellflower CA
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Bellflower CA is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most potential students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order 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 screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Bellflower CA laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Bellflower CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Bellflower CA employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part 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. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for many Bellflower CA students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in 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 premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Bellflower CA in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school 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 several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Bellflower CA job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those 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 asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students 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 also check with several Bellflower CA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. 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 Plenty of Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Bellflower CA medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Bellflower CA medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important 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 part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even 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 policy is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Bellflower California
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bellflower CA.