How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Brea CA
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Brea CA is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out 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 an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Brea CA labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Brea CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method 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 to become a phlebotomy tech. Available 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 furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, many Brea CA employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed 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 part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical option for some Brea CA students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program 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 superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected 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 campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Brea CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Brea CA job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Brea CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Brea CA medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Brea CA medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Brea CA, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Brea California
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Brea CA.