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Become a Phlebotomist in Bellflower California

How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Bellflower CA

Bellflower CA phlebotomy tech drawing bloodEnrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Bellflower CA is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection 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 reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.

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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description

Bellflower CA phlebotomist lab technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Bellflower CA laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?

The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Bellflower CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.

Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing

blood testing performed in Bellflower CA laboratoryThere are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means 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 phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Bellflower CA employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose 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.

Phlebotomy Online Colleges

Bellflower California woman attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Bellflower CA students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.

Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?

First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Bellflower CA medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs

What to ask Bellflower CA phlebotomy schoolsNow that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus 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 phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, 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 Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Bellflower CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Enough Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Bellflower CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together 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 ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending 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. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.

Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Bellflower California

Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bellflower CA.