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Become a Phlebotomist in Boyle Heights California

How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Boyle Heights CA

Boyle Heights CA phlebotomist drawing bloodSelecting the ideal phlebotomist training near Boyle Heights CA is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, many students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, 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 before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.

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Phlebotomist Career Description

Boyle Heights CA phlebotomist laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Boyle Heights CA labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?

The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Boyle Heights CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, 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 drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification

blood testing performed in Boyle Heights CA laboratoryThere are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Boyle Heights CA employers require certification before employing technicians. Some 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomist Colleges

Boyle Heights California student attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Boyle Heights CA students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.

Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?

Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Boyle Heights CA medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs

What to ask Boyle Heights CA phlebotomy schoolsSince you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school 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 phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available 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 phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin 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 ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Boyle Heights CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with 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 at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.

Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Boyle Heights CA healthcare community. And they look good 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. Find out if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Boyle Heights CA health care community.

Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Boyle Heights CA, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Boyle Heights California

Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each program before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Boyle Heights CA.