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Become a Phlebotomist in Brea California

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

Brea CA phlebotomist drawing bloodChoosing the right phlebotomist school near Brea CA is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, many students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember 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 should be part of your decision process too. 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 choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary

Brea CA phlebotomy laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Brea CA labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomists Employed?

The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Brea CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing 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 drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.

Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification

blood testing performed in Brea CA laboratoryThere are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, many Brea CA employers look for certification before 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.

Phlebotomy Online Classes

Brea California woman attending phlebotomy training onlineTo begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Brea CA students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.

Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs

Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Brea CA in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Brea CA job market.

What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Brea CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final 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 total compliance.

Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working 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 reviewing should provide at least 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 comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.

Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Brea CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Help 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 school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Brea CA healthcare community.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Brea CA, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And 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 protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.

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Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Brea California

Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Brea CA.