How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Brentwood CA
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near Brentwood CA is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, many potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area 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 finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments 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 needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Brentwood CA labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, including Brentwood CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in most states, most Brentwood CA employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the key certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for many Brentwood CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now 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 selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Brentwood CA as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Brentwood CA job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Brentwood CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out 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 working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Brentwood CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Brentwood CA medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings 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 study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Brentwood California
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Brentwood CA.