How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Buena Park CA
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Buena Park CA is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, many potential students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish 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 prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Buena Park CA laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon 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 work places are numerous and varied, such as Buena Park CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a general education along 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 specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Buena Park CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the principal 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Buena Park CA students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Buena Park CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as 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 quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Buena Park CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many 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 essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact some Buena Park CA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As 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 lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Buena Park CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Buena Park CA health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's important to make sure that the final college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Buena Park CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical 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 emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training near Buena Park California
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Buena Park CA.