How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Burbank CA
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician training near Burbank CA is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, many students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far 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 selection process as well. 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 pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Burbank CA laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Burbank CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest 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 provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Burbank CA employers require certification prior to 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Burbank CA students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start 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 important if you will be commuting from Burbank CA in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, 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 agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable 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 College's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place 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 check with several Burbank CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest 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 ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn 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 practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Burbank CA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Burbank CA medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Burbank CA, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Burbank California
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Burbank CA.