How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Course near Buena Park CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomy training near Buena Park CA is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at two 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 local campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. 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 choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time 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 can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Buena Park CA laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. 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 charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing 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 setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree 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 offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Buena Park CA employers look for certification before hiring 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it might 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 counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Buena Park CA as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Buena Park CA job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Buena Park CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing 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 looking at should furnish 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 comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Buena Park CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Buena Park CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending college. 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 part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical 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 due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Buena Park California
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Buena Park CA.