How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Boyle Heights CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Boyle Heights CA is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, most potential students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss 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 finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Boyle Heights CA laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Boyle Heights CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Boyle Heights CA employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of 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 many Boyle Heights CA students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive 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 choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you want 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 Boyle Heights CA as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Boyle Heights CA job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact several Boyle Heights CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Boyle Heights CA health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Boyle Heights CA medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Boyle Heights CA, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Boyle Heights California
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Boyle Heights CA.