How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Live Oak California
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Live Oak CA is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it’s vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, many prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll talk more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, 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 prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. We will go into more depth later. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Live Oak CA medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Live Oak CA labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Live Oak CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education as well as 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, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. 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 Live Oak CA employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the primary 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, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To start with, let’s resolve one potential misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Live Oak CA students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Live Oak CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s very 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 examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example 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 examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Live Oak CA job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In a number of 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 essential 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 placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Live Oak CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Live Oak CA health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Live Oak CA health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it’s crucial to confirm that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Live Oak CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Affordable Phlebotomist Colleges Live Oak California
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Affordable Phlebotomist Colleges and to get more information regarding Low Cost Phlebotomy Technician Programs. However, by asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Live Oak CA.
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