How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Brea CA
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Brea CA is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, many students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk 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 cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose 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 schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Brea CA laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Brea CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Brea CA employers look for certification prior to hiring 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical option for some Brea CA students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected 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 school is relevant if you will be commuting from Brea CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Brea CA job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Brea CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? 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 reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Brea CA health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Brea CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Brea CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. 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 find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Brea California
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Brea CA.