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Become a Phlebotomist in Brea California

How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Brea CA

Brea CA phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientEnrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Brea CA is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many prospective students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.

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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description

Brea CA phlebotomist laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out 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 may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Brea CA laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?

The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Brea CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing 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 collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.

Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification

blood testing done in Brea CA laboratoryThere are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, many Brea CA employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomy Training

Brea California woman attending phlebotomy school onlineFirst, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Brea CA students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.

Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?

Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Brea CA medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs

Questions to ask Brea CA phlebotomy schoolsSince you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Brea CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy 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 have to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Brea CA job market.

What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check 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 placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact several Brea CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, contact 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 looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Brea CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Brea CA medical community.

Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Brea CA, check that they are offered 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 study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure 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 due to illness or emergencies.

Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Brea California

Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary slightly across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Brea CA.