How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Beverly Hills CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist training 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 school alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, many potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision 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 right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports 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 Beverly Hills CA laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Beverly Hills CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working 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. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Beverly Hills CA employers require certification prior to hiring 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Beverly Hills CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Beverly Hills CA as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. 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 prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance 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 typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Beverly Hills CA job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin 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 reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Beverly Hills CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering 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 expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Beverly Hills CA health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Beverly Hills CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Beverly Hills CA, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Beverly Hills California
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling 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 school. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Beverly Hills CA.