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Become a Phlebotomist in Berkeley California

How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Berkeley CA

Berkeley CA phlebotomist drawing blood from patientSelecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Berkeley CA is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, many prospective students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.

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Phlebotomist Work Description

Berkeley CA phlebotomist laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Berkeley CA labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?

The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Berkeley CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing 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 collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing

blood analysis done in Berkeley CA laboratoryThere are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Berkeley CA employers require certification prior to hiring 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomist Schools

Berkeley California student attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Berkeley CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.

What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs

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 decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Berkeley CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Berkeley CA job market.

What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Berkeley 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 ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.

Is Enough Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. 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 practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.

Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Berkeley CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage 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 as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Berkeley CA healthcare community.

Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Berkeley CA, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.

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Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Berkeley California

Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Berkeley CA.