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Become a Phlebotomist in Buena Park California

How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Buena Park CA

Buena Park CA phlebotomy tech drawing bloodChoosing the ideal phlebotomist school near Buena Park CA is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, most prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to 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 evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description

Buena Park CA phlebotomy lab technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Buena Park CA labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?

The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Buena Park CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.

Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification

blood testing done in Buena Park CA labThere are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Buena Park CA employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the key 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomy Online Colleges

Buena Park California woman attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for some Buena Park CA students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.

Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?

First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Buena Park CA medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.

Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs

What to ask Buena Park CA phlebotomy schoolsSince you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. 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 phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential 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 schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important 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 students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Buena Park CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.

Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.

Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Buena Park CA health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Buena Park CA medical community.

Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Buena Park CA, check that 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. Even if you have decided to study 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 in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.

Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Buena Park California

Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each school before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Buena Park CA.