How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech School near Brea CA
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Brea CA is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, most prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main task, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Brea CA labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Brea CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Brea CA employers look for certification before 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial 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 in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Brea CA students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive 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 earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short 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 anxious in hospitals or other Brea CA medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Topics 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 intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Brea CA as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Brea CA job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all 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 solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Brea CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most 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 Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Brea CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire 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 the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Brea CA health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Brea CA, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Brea California
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Brea CA.