How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Brentwood CA
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy training near Brentwood CA is an important initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, many potential students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time 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 can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Brentwood CA laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Brentwood CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, 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 newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in most states, a number of Brentwood CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for many Brentwood CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive 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 organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, 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 school is significant if you will be commuting from Brentwood CA as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Brentwood CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with some Brentwood CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Brentwood CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Brentwood CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Brentwood CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Brentwood California
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a wide range of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each school before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Brentwood CA.