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Become a Phlebotomist in Brentwood California

How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Brentwood CA

Brentwood CA phlebotomist drawing blood from patientEnrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Brentwood CA is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should 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 address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.

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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description

Brentwood CA phlebotomist lab technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out 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 an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Brentwood CA laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Practice?

The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Brentwood CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis done in Brentwood CA laboratoryThere are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers 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, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Brentwood CA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the primary 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 phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomy Schools

Brentwood CA student attending phlebotomy training onlineTo begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for some Brentwood CA students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs

Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. 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. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee 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 previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future 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 phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Brentwood CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest 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 filed or if the colleges are in full 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.

Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Brentwood CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high 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 Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide 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. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.

Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Brentwood California

Brentwood CA phlebotomy laboratory blood analysisMaking sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Brentwood CA.