How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Burbank CA
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Burbank CA is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, most potential students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Burbank CA laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Burbank CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Burbank CA employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the key certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might 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, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). 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 study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the short answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Burbank CA medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Burbank CA as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets 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 pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, 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 a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Burbank CA job market.
What is the Program'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 along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. 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 research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Burbank CA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Burbank CA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide 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 program has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Burbank CA health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only 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, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Burbank California
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Burbank CA.