How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near Burbank CA
Picking the ideal phlebotomy school near Burbank CA is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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 ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Burbank CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Burbank CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 require certification prior to practicing 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 provides a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Burbank CA students. As an added benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you wish 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 in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Burbank CA job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. 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 internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Burbank CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing 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 Ample Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Burbank CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Burbank CA medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Burbank CA, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Burbank California
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Burbank CA.