How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Boyle Heights CA
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near Boyle Heights CA is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, many potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being employed 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 properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Boyle Heights CA labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Boyle Heights CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Boyle Heights CA employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the principal 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 phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for some Boyle Heights CA students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college 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 receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Boyle Heights CA as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Boyle Heights CA job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Boyle Heights CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added 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 Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school 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 as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Boyle Heights CA medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to make sure that the final college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Boyle Heights CA, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Boyle Heights California
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Boyle Heights CA.