How to Find the Right Phlebotomist School near Beverly Hills CA
Picking the right phlebotomist school near Beverly Hills CA is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Beverly Hills CA laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Beverly Hills CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting 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, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. 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. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Beverly Hills CA employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical option for some Beverly Hills CA students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin 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 mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Beverly Hills CA in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective 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 those that are not of the highest caliber. 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 screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Beverly Hills CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested 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 Ample Training Provided? First, 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 provide no less than 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 Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Beverly Hills CA medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Beverly Hills CA medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true 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, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And 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 procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Learn How to Become a Phlebotomist
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Beverly Hills California
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a number of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Beverly Hills CA.