How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy School near Boyle Heights CA
Picking the right phlebotomy school near Boyle Heights CA is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may 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 remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing 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 accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be correctly 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 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 accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Boyle Heights CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind 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 practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, 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 Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Boyle Heights CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies 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 in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for many Boyle Heights CA students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right 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 initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Boyle Heights CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Boyle Heights CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. 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 agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Boyle Heights CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Boyle Heights CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Boyle Heights CA health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Boyle Heights CA, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Boyle Heights California
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. 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 program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Boyle Heights CA.