How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Boyle Heights CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Boyle Heights CA is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, many potential students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose 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.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Boyle Heights CA labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Boyle Heights CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Boyle Heights CA employers require certification before employing 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Boyle Heights CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Boyle Heights CA as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist 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 benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Boyle Heights CA job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Boyle Heights CA clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Boyle Heights CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Boyle Heights CA health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Boyle Heights CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. 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 find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Boyle Heights California
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a number of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Boyle Heights CA.