How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Buena Park CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near Buena Park CA is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most prospective students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review 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 finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time 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 screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Buena Park CA laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Buena Park CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as 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, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Buena Park CA employers look for certification prior to 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Buena Park CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Buena Park CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only 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 decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance 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 previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available 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 Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, 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 begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Buena Park CA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount 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 practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Buena Park CA medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Buena Park CA health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Buena Park CA, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Buena Park California
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a wide range of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Buena Park CA.