How to Select the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Burbank CA
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near Burbank CA is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools 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 factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will provide 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 then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Burbank CA laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including 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 babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Burbank CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical option for many Burbank CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium 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 right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Burbank CA in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very 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 have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional 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 in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Burbank CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Burbank CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Burbank CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Burbank CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to confirm that the final college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Burbank CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Burbank California
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Burbank CA.