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Become a Phlebotomist in Boyle Heights California

How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech School near Boyle Heights CA

Boyle Heights CA phlebotomist drawing bloodSelecting the right phlebotomy technician training near Boyle Heights CA is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, most potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.

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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description

Boyle Heights CA phlebotomist laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Boyle Heights CA laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Practice?

The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Boyle Heights CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing

blood testing done in Boyle Heights CA laboratoryThere are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Boyle Heights CA employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations include:

  • National Phlebotomy Association
  • National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
  • American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
  • American Medical Technologists (AMT)

There are several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomist Online Training

Boyle Heights CA woman attending phlebotomy school onlineTo start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Boyle Heights CA students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.

What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges

Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 campus is significant if you will be commuting from Boyle Heights CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification 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 working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Boyle Heights CA job market.

What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance 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 Boyle Heights CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. 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 total compliance.

Is Ample Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.

Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Boyle Heights CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Boyle Heights CA health care community.

Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Boyle Heights CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.

Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Boyle Heights California

Boyle Heights CA phlebotomist lab blood testingMaking certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. 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 school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Boyle Heights CA.