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Become a Phlebotomist in Brea California

How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Brea CA

Brea CA phlebotomy tech drawing bloodChoosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Brea CA is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.

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Phlebotomist Job Summary

Brea CA phlebotomist laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Brea CA laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Practice?

The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Brea CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing

blood testing done in Brea CA labThere are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, many Brea CA employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like 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 quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Phlebotomy Online Schools

Brea California woman attending phlebotomy training onlineTo begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Brea CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools

Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Brea CA as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Brea CA job market.

What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any schools 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 online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Brea CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Enough 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.

Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Brea CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Brea CA healthcare community.

Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Brea CA, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend 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 emergencies or illness.

Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Brea California

Brea CA phlebotomist lab blood testingMaking sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Brea CA.