How to Find the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Brea CA
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician training near Brea CA is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. 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 select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Brea CA labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Brea CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Brea CA employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical option for many Brea CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Brea CA in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as 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 examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Brea CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. 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 research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with some Brea CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested 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 submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of 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 looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Brea CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Brea CA medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Brea CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical 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 as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Brea California
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Brea CA.