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Become a Phlebotomist in Brentwood California

How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Brentwood CA

Brentwood CA phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientSelecting the right phlebotomist training near Brentwood CA is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, many prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision 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 choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.

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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary

Brentwood CA phlebotomist laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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 accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomists Employed?

The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Brentwood CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.

Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing

blood testing performed in Brentwood CA laboratoryThere are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, many Brentwood CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key certifying organizations 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 phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomist Classes

Brentwood CA woman attending phlebotomy training onlineFirst, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Brentwood CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools

Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you intend 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 in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets 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 Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance 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 agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Brentwood CA job market.

What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Brentwood CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.

Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn 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 provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Brentwood CA medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support 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 higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Brentwood CA health care community.

Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly 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 part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

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Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Brentwood California

Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Brentwood CA.