How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Beverly Hills CA
Choosing the right phlebotomy school near Beverly Hills CA is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind 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 need to be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Beverly Hills CA laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Beverly Hills CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest 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 on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Beverly Hills CA employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the key 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical 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. But since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Beverly Hills CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you wish 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 as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Beverly Hills CA job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools 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 online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Beverly Hills CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish 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 expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive 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 health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Beverly Hills CA medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Beverly Hills CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Beverly Hills California
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each school before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Beverly Hills CA.