How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Beverly Hills CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Beverly Hills CA is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Beverly Hills CA laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Beverly Hills CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Beverly Hills CA employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be clinical 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical option for many Beverly Hills CA students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best 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 already discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Beverly Hills CA medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked 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 important if you will be commuting from Beverly Hills CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. 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 working and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example 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 quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Beverly Hills CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Beverly Hills CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Beverly Hills CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Beverly Hills CA medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Beverly Hills CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure 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 as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Beverly Hills California
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Beverly Hills CA.