How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Brea CA
Picking the right phlebotomy technician school near Brea CA is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, most potential students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much 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 selection process as well. 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 pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point 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 may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Brea CA labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Brea CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home 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 exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Brea CA employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main 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, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many Brea CA students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Brea CA as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, 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 superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Brea CA job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some Brea CA clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, contact 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Brea CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Brea CA health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Brea CA, make certain 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 attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Brea California
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Brea CA.