How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist School near Atascadero California
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Atascadero CA is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it’s vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most prospective students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area 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 far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
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Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The basic definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. We will go into more depth later. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Atascadero CA medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Atascadero CA labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Atascadero CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Atascadero CA employers look for certification before 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
First, let’s dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical option for some Atascadero CA students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked 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 important if you will be commuting from Atascadero CA as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, 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 an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Atascadero CA job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. 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 online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Atascadero CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist 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 below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Atascadero CA health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Atascadero CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to verify that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Atascadero CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Local Phlebotomist Programs Near Me Atascadero California
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each program before making your final selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Local Phlebotomist Programs Near Me and to get more information regarding Accelerated Drawing Blood Colleges. However, by asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Atascadero CA.
More California Bloody Wonderful Locations
Atascadero is a city in San Luis Obispo County, California, about equidistant from Los Angeles and San Francisco on U.S. Route 101. Atascadero is part of the San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles metropolitan statistical area, which encompasses the extents of the county. Atascadero is farther inland than most other cities in the county, and as a result, usually experiences warmer, drier summers, and cooler winters than other nearby cities such as San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach. The main freeway through town is the US 101. The nearby State Routes 41 and 46 provide access to the Pacific Coast and the California Central Valley.
Atascadero is a Spanish word loosely translated as bog, from the verb "atascar" which means to become stuck or hindered. Also, in the Obispeño language, the site was named tsɨskikiye, which translates into a "place of much water".
The area was originally home to the Chumash and Salinan Indians. In the half century between 1769 and 1823 the Spanish Franciscans established 21 missions along the California coast, including the nearby Mission San Miguel Arcángel, and Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. In 1821, Mexico won its independence from Spain, and California became a Mexican province. In 1833, the Mexican government secularized the mission lands. Mexican Governor Juan Alvarado granted Rancho Atascadero to Trifon Garcia in 1842, and Pio Pico granted Pedro Estrada Rancho Asuncion in 1845. Patrick Washington Murphy held ownership of 61,000 acres (25,000 ha) at one time.
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