How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Buena Park CA
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician school near Buena Park CA is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, many students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Buena Park CA laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Buena Park CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes 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 phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, many Buena Park CA employers require certification before employing technicians. Some 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Buena Park CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 school is important 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 phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose 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 examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Buena Park CA job market.
What is the School'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 along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges 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 online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Buena Park CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Buena Park CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering 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 program has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Buena Park CA healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to 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, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Buena Park California
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a variety of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Buena Park CA.