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Become a Phlebotomist in Berkeley California

How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Berkeley CA

Berkeley CA phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientSelecting the right phlebotomy technician training near Berkeley CA is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. 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 pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.

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Phlebotomist Work Description

Berkeley CA phlebotomy laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Berkeley CA laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomists Employed?

The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Berkeley CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis done in Berkeley CA labThere are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Berkeley CA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomist Online Training

Berkeley California woman attending phlebotomy school onlineTo begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for some Berkeley CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.

Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?

Right out of the gate, few 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 selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Berkeley CA medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges

Questions to ask Berkeley CA phlebotomy schoolsNow that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Berkeley CA as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Berkeley CA job market.

What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Berkeley CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask 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 filed or if the schools are in full compliance.

Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Berkeley CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Berkeley CA healthcare community.

Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Berkeley CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend 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 emergencies or illness.

Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Berkeley California

Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a variety of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Berkeley CA.