How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near Lakewood California
Picking the right phlebotomist school near Lakewood CA is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it’s important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. We will provide more details later. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Lakewood CA medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it 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 may be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork needs to 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 an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Lakewood CA labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Lakewood CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation 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, most Lakewood CA employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To start with, let’s resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted 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-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Lakewood CA students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked 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 college is important if you will be commuting from Lakewood CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining 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 future employers in the Lakewood CA job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to check the reputations of all 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 assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Lakewood CA hospitals or clinics that you may 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 ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, contact 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 provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Lakewood CA health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing 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 positions, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Lakewood CA health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it’s crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Lakewood CA, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Part Time Phlebotomy Tech Associates Degrees Near Me Lakewood California
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each school before making your final choice. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Part Time Phlebotomy Tech Associates Degrees Near Me and to get more information regarding Low Cost Phlebotomist Training. However, by asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Lakewood CA.
More California Bloody Wonderful Locations
Lakewood is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. The population was 80,048 at the 2010 census. It is bordered by Long Beach on the west and south, Bellflower on the north, Cerritos on the northeast, Cypress on the east, and Hawaiian Gardens on the southeast. Major thoroughfares include Lakewood (SR 19), Bellflower, and Del Amo Boulevards and Carson and South Streets. The San Gabriel River Freeway (I-605) runs through the city's eastern regions.
Sometimes called "an instant city" because of its origins, going from lima bean fields in 1950 to a well-developed city by 1960, Lakewood is a classic example of a post–World War II American suburb.
Lakewood is a post-World War II planned community. Developers Louis Boyar, Mark Taper and Ben Weingart are credited with "altering forever the map of Southern California." Begun in late 1949, the completion of the developers' plan in 1953 helped in the transformation of mass-produced housing from its early phases in the 1930s and 1940s to the reality of the 1950s.
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