How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Brentwood CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomist school near Brentwood CA is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, most potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Brentwood CA laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Brentwood CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic 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, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Brentwood CA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the primary 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted 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 component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Brentwood CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short definition 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 blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Brentwood CA medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Brentwood CA as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as 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 quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Brentwood CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact several Brentwood CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist 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 below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Brentwood CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Brentwood CA health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Brentwood CA, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Brentwood California
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Brentwood CA.