How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Boyle Heights CA
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Boyle Heights CA is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, most potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Boyle Heights CA labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Boyle Heights CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw 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 particular type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest 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 provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Boyle Heights CA employers look for certification prior to hiring 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for some Boyle Heights CA students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (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 certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Boyle Heights CA as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as 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 premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Boyle Heights CA job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Boyle Heights CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Boyle Heights CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges 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 positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Boyle Heights CA medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Boyle Heights CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask 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
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Boyle Heights CA.