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Become a Phlebotomist in Buena Park California

How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Buena Park CA

Buena Park CA phlebotomy tech drawing bloodPicking the right phlebotomist training near Buena Park CA is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary

Buena Park CA phlebotomist lab technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Buena Park CA labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?

The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Buena Park CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.

Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing

blood analysis done in Buena Park CA laboratoryThere are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Buena Park CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal 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, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees

Buena Park CA woman attending phlebotomy school onlineTo begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the program of studies 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-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Buena Park CA students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.

Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?

First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the short answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Buena Park CA medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.

Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges

What to ask Buena Park CA phlebotomy schoolsNow that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Buena Park CA in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality 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 obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Buena Park CA job market.

What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Buena Park CA hospitals or clinics that you might 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 colleges are in total compliance.

Is Sufficient 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 length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.

Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Buena Park CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority 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 health care community.

Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Buena Park CA, make sure 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 find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Buena Park California

Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Buena Park CA.