How to Find the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Buena Park CA
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician school near Buena Park CA is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Buena Park CA laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Buena Park CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending 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 only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides 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 phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Buena Park CA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require 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 important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Buena Park CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Buena Park CA as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, 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 amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior 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 previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. 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 Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Buena Park CA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with 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 phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Buena Park CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Buena Park CA medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Buena Park CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Buena Park California
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Buena Park CA.