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Become a Phlebotomist in Berkeley California

How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Berkeley CA

Berkeley CA phlebotomist drawing blood from patientChoosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Berkeley CA is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, most prospective students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might 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's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.

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Phlebotomist Work Summary

Berkeley CA phlebotomist lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time 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 may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Berkeley CA labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Practice?

The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Berkeley CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing

blood testing performed in Berkeley CA labThere are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Berkeley CA employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomy Online Training

Berkeley CA woman attending phlebotomy training onlineFirst, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Berkeley CA students. As an added benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs

Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Berkeley CA in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking 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 each of the programs you are reviewing before making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Berkeley CA job market.

What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Berkeley CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer 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 Adequate Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Berkeley CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher 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 substantial network of professional contacts within the Berkeley CA healthcare community.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Berkeley CA, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.

Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Berkeley California

Berkeley CA phlebotomist laboratory blood analysisMaking sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Berkeley CA.