How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Burbank CA
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist school near Burbank CA is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant 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 reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Burbank CA labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Burbank CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, most Burbank CA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the principal certifying organizations 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 phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component 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 completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for some Burbank CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked 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 Burbank CA as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Burbank CA job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Burbank CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As 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 practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Burbank CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Burbank CA medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to confirm that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Burbank CA, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Burbank California
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Burbank CA.