How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Buena Park CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near Buena Park CA is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order 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 tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Buena Park CA laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as 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 babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, most Buena Park CA employers require certification before employing technicians. A few 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 phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
First, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Buena Park CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive 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 best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Buena Park CA as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement 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, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Buena Park CA job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with some Buena Park CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out 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 colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Buena Park CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering 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 positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Buena Park CA medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Buena Park CA, check that they are offered at those times. Also, 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 practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Buena Park California
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a number of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Buena Park CA.