How to Find the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Brentwood CA
Picking the right phlebotomist training near Brentwood CA is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Brentwood CA laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Brentwood CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw 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 drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Brentwood CA employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Brentwood CA students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Brentwood CA as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in 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 advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier 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 college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Brentwood CA job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Brentwood CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Brentwood CA medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Brentwood CA health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Brentwood CA, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Brentwood California
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Brentwood CA.