How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Buena Park CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Buena Park CA is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Buena Park CA labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, 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 babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing 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 drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, most Buena Park CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies 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 phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Buena Park CA students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you 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 chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Buena Park CA as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Buena Park CA job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any 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 assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Buena Park CA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out 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 provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Buena Park CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Buena Park CA healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Buena Park CA, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And 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 policy is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training near Buena Park California
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ slightly from state to state as every 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 program prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Buena Park CA.