How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Buena Park CA
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Buena Park CA is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit 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 locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Buena Park CA labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Buena Park CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Buena Park CA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical option for some Buena Park CA students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you select 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 superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, 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 certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Buena Park CA in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional 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 a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, 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 potential employers in the Buena Park CA job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Buena Park CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out 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 furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Buena Park CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Buena Park CA health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Buena Park CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Buena Park California
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Buena Park CA.