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Become a Phlebotomist in Buena Park California

How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Buena Park CA

Buena Park CA phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientChoosing the right phlebotomist training near Buena Park CA is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, most prospective students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review 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 closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.

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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description

Buena Park CA phlebotomist laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab 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 responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomists Employed?

The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Buena Park CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing

blood testing done in Buena Park CA laboratoryThere are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, many Buena Park CA employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the key 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomy Schools

Buena Park California student attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Buena Park CA students. As an added benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges

Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Buena Park CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate decision.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Buena Park CA job market.

What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with some Buena Park CA clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy 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 may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Buena Park CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at offer 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 school has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Buena Park CA health care community.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Buena Park CA, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. 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 find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.

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Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Buena Park California

Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to making your final 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 phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Buena Park CA.