How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Brea CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near Brea CA is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, most prospective students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review 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 finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly 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 may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Brea CA laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Brea CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate 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 offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Brea CA employers look for certification before employing 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain 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 completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Brea CA students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Brea CA as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Brea CA job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Brea CA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Brea CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Brea CA health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. 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 Brea CA, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Learn How to Become a Phlebotomist
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Brea California
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Brea CA.