How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Boyle Heights CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomist school near Boyle Heights CA is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Boyle Heights CA labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Boyle Heights CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Boyle Heights CA employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for many Boyle Heights CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected 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 college is relevant if you will be commuting from Boyle Heights CA as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are a critical 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 some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets 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 school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. 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 College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact some Boyle Heights CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Boyle Heights CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Boyle Heights CA health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending 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. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain 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 due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Boyle Heights California
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each school before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Boyle Heights CA.