How to Find the Right Phlebotomy School near Burbank CA
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Burbank CA is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most potential students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Burbank CA labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Burbank CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Burbank CA employers require certification before 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for some Burbank CA students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might 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 college is relevant 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 school. Each of these decisions are a critical part 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 several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy 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 College Accredited? The phlebotomy 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 a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Burbank CA job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact several Burbank CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? 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 clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Burbank CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Burbank CA medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Burbank CA, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Burbank California
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Burbank CA.