How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Boyle Heights CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Boyle Heights CA is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to assess and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, many potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing 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 properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Boyle Heights CA laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Boyle Heights CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, 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 collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible 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. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Boyle Heights CA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the key 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Boyle Heights CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you wish 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. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy 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 several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Boyle Heights CA job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Boyle Heights CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop 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 phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out 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 jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Boyle Heights CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Boyle Heights CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Learn How to Become a Phlebotomist
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Boyle Heights California
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Boyle Heights CA.