How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Beverly Hills CA
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist school near Beverly Hills CA is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, most prospective students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing 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 Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized 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 accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Beverly Hills CA laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Beverly Hills CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Beverly Hills CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the main 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Beverly Hills CA students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Beverly Hills CA as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. 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 arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy 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 phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable 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 a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Beverly Hills CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to 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 find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient 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 classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Beverly Hills CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Beverly Hills CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Beverly Hills CA, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Beverly Hills California
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Beverly Hills CA.