How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Burbank CA
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Burbank CA is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, 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 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 classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly 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 laboratory testing process. 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Burbank CA laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Burbank CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education together 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, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Burbank CA employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the key 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical option for many Burbank CA students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive 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 earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Burbank CA as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. 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 schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Burbank CA job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools 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 solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with some Burbank CA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Burbank CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Burbank CA healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Burbank CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Burbank 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 addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Burbank CA.