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Become a Phlebotomist in Brentwood California

How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Brentwood CA

Brentwood CA phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientSelecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Brentwood CA is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider 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 remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.

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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary

Brentwood CA phlebotomist laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Brentwood CA labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomists Employed?

The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Brentwood CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.

Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing

blood testing done in Brentwood CA labThere are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically 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. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Brentwood CA employers look for certification prior to hiring 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.

Phlebotomy Online Classes

Brentwood CA woman attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the program of studies 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 prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for many Brentwood CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.

Should You Become a Plebotomist?

First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Brentwood CA medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs

Questions to ask Brentwood CA phlebotomy schoolsSince you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school 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 an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets 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 College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected 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 premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Brentwood CA job market.

What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any 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 research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Brentwood CA clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out 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 learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.

Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Brentwood CA health care community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, 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 Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Brentwood CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.

Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Brentwood California

Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each college before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Brentwood CA.