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Become a Phlebotomist in Buena Park California

How to Find the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Buena Park CA

Buena Park CA phlebotomy tech drawing bloodPicking the ideal phlebotomy school near Buena Park CA is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, many prospective students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss 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 finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.

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Phlebotomist Career Description

Buena Park CA phlebotomy laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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 in fact work in Buena Park CA labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?

The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Buena Park CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing 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 mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.

Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing

blood analysis done in Buena Park CA laboratoryThere are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Buena Park CA employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations 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, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomy Online Schools

Buena Park CA woman attending phlebotomy school onlineFirst, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many Buena Park CA students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs

Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant 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 college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Buena Park CA job market.

What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Buena Park CA clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Adequate 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 reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Buena Park CA health care community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Buena Park CA health care community.

Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Buena Park CA, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, 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 procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.

Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Buena Park California

Buena Park CA phlebotomist lab blood analysisMaking certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Buena Park CA.