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Become a Phlebotomist in Brentwood California

How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Brentwood CA

Brentwood CA phlebotomy tech drawing bloodChoosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Brentwood CA is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.

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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description

Brentwood CA phlebotomist laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Brentwood CA labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?

The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Brentwood CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.

Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification

blood testing done in Brentwood CA laboratoryThere are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education along 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 exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Brentwood CA employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees

Brentwood CA student attending phlebotomy training onlineTo start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part 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 completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Brentwood CA students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.

Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?

First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Brentwood CA medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges

Questions to ask Brentwood CA phlebotomy schoolsNow that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Brentwood CA as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting 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 each of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, 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 superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Brentwood CA job market.

What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Brentwood CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.

Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Brentwood CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer 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 school has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Brentwood CA health care community.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Brentwood CA, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.

Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Brentwood California

Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Brentwood CA.