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Become a Phlebotomist in Brea California

How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Brea CA

Brea CA phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientChoosing the right phlebotomy training near Brea CA is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide 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 before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary

Brea CA phlebotomy laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Brea CA labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?

The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Brea CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.

Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis performed in Brea CA laboratoryThere are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered 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 offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Brea CA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the key 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomist Online Classes

Brea CA woman attending phlebotomy training onlineTo begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for many Brea CA students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools

Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Brea CA as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each 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 extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with 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 Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose 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 advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, 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 getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, 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 Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. 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 screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact some Brea CA clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.

Is Ample Training Provided? First, check with 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Brea CA health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Brea CA health care community.

Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Brea CA, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.

Learn How to Become a Phlebotomist

Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Brea California

Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Brea CA.