How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Brea CA
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Brea CA is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, many potential students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online 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 a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Brea CA labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Brea CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working 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 Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Brea CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary certifying agencies 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 phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's dispel one possible 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 carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical option for many Brea CA students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive 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 earning your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus 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 phlebotomy online program. Each 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. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification 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 practicing and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Brea CA job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact some Brea CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Brea CA health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Brea CA medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the final college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Brea CA, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend 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 should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Brea California
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Brea CA.