How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Brentwood CA
Selecting the right phlebotomy training near Brentwood CA is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor 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 remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing 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. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Brentwood CA labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Brentwood CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, many Brentwood CA employers require certification before employing technicians. Some 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Brentwood CA students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on 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 college is significant if you will be commuting from Brentwood CA in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements 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 completed prior to 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 select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Brentwood CA job market.
What is the College'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 essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. 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 research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Brentwood CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Brentwood CA health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Brentwood CA health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Brentwood CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Brentwood California
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Brentwood CA.