How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Brea CA
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Brea CA is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might consider 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 comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables 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 evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly 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 may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Brea CA laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Brea CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Brea CA employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the main certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
First, let's resolve one likely 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 performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Brea CA students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you 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 chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. 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. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing 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 any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Brea CA job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with some Brea CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, 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. As 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 below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Brea CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Brea CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the final college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Brea CA, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Brea California
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Brea CA.