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Become a Phlebotomist in Bellflower California

How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Bellflower CA

Bellflower CA phlebotomy tech drawing bloodChoosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Bellflower CA is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection 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 assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description

Bellflower CA phlebotomy lab technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must 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. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Bellflower CA labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?

The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Bellflower CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.

Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis performed in Bellflower CA laboratoryThere are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route 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 phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, many Bellflower CA employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as 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 furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomist Training

Bellflower California woman attending phlebotomy school onlineTo start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Bellflower CA students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality 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 right option for you.

Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?

First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Bellflower CA medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges

What to ask Bellflower CA phlebotomy schoolsSince you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen 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 campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Bellflower CA in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, 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 practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school 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 program in addition to an assurance of a quality 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 organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Bellflower CA job market.

What is the School's Ranking? In a number of 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 schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Bellflower CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.

Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Bellflower CA health care community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Bellflower CA medical community.

Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working 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 as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Bellflower California

Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each college prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bellflower CA.