How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Burbank CA
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Burbank CA is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task 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 ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must 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 choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Burbank CA laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Burbank CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing 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 Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Burbank CA employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
First, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for many Burbank CA students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Burbank CA as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program 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 program aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Burbank CA job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Burbank CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, 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 classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing 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 expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Burbank CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire 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 jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Burbank CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Burbank CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Burbank California
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary slightly across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Burbank CA.