How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Beverly Hills CA
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Beverly Hills CA is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, many prospective students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish 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 address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Beverly Hills CA laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Beverly Hills CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method 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 to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in most states, most Beverly Hills CA employers look for certification prior to employing 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical option for some Beverly Hills CA students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you select 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 superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Beverly Hills CA medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant 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. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program 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 several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, 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 Beverly Hills CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Beverly Hills CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Beverly Hills CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Beverly Hills CA health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night 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, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Beverly Hills California
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Beverly Hills CA.