How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Beverly Hills CA
Picking the right phlebotomist school near Beverly Hills CA is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze 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 quality education. In fact, many prospective students begin their search by looking at 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's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should 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 discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting 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 data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Beverly Hills CA laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Beverly Hills CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education along 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 incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, a number of Beverly Hills CA employers look for certification prior to 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as 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 provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Beverly Hills CA students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Beverly Hills CA medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Beverly Hills CA in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Beverly Hills CA job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact several Beverly Hills 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 check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Beverly Hills CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Beverly Hills CA health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Beverly Hills CA, make certain 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 study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Beverly Hills California
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Beverly Hills CA.