How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Brea CA
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Brea CA is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Brea CA labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Brea CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and offers a general 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, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished 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 employing technicians. A few 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Brea CA students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Brea CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating 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 phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Brea CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Brea CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Brea CA medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Brea CA, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near Brea California
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary slightly across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate 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 choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Brea CA.