How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Brentwood CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Brentwood CA is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Brentwood CA labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Brentwood CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working 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 mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Brentwood CA employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some 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, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for many Brentwood CA students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Brentwood CA as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick 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 program in addition to an assurance of a superior 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 earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Brentwood CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. 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 ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several Brentwood CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Brentwood CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate 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 a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Brentwood CA medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Brentwood CA, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Brentwood California
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Brentwood CA.