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Become a Phlebotomist in Buena Park California

How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Buena Park CA

Buena Park CA phlebotomy tech drawing bloodChoosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Buena Park CA is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most prospective students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.

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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description

Buena Park CA phlebotomist laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Buena Park CA labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?

The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Buena Park CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis done in Buena Park CA labThere are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Buena Park CA employers look for certification prior to 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees

Buena Park CA student attending phlebotomy school onlineFirst, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical option for some Buena Park CA students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). 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 study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.

Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?

Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Buena Park CA medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.

Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges

What to ask Buena Park CA phlebotomy schoolsSince you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Buena Park CA as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized 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 school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Buena Park CA job market.

What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little 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 the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Buena Park CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.

Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Buena Park CA health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying 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 health care community.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Buena Park CA, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify 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 ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.

Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Buena Park California

Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Buena Park CA.