How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Brea CA
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician training near Brea CA is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision 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 ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
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. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Brea CA laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Brea CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Brea CA employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the main 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for many Brea CA students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you 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 decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Brea CA as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized 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 in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, 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 Ranking? 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 essential to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Brea CA clinics or hospitals that you might 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 complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy 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 less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Brea CA health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Brea CA health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Brea CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Brea California
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Brea CA.