How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Santa Cruz California
Picking the ideal phlebotomy school near Santa Cruz CA is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll review 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 closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
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Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. We will go into more depth later. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Santa Cruz CA medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, 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 helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Santa Cruz CA laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, including Santa Cruz CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Santa Cruz CA employers require certification prior to 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
First, let’s resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Santa Cruz CA students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). 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 attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Santa Cruz CA in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with 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 phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Santa Cruz CA job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Santa Cruz CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full 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 length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Santa Cruz CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Santa Cruz CA health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it’s critical to verify that the final college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Santa Cruz CA, check that 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 attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
How Much Is Phlebotomy Training Santa Cruz CA
Best Phlebotomy Tech Classes Near Me Santa Cruz California
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a variety of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Best Phlebotomy Tech Classes Near Me and to get more information regarding Accelerated Phlebotomy Training. However, by asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Santa Cruz CA.
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Santa Cruz, California
Santa Cruz (/ˈsæntə ˈkruːz/; Spanish for Holy Cross) is the county seat and largest city of Santa Cruz County, California. As of 2018 the U.S. Census Bureau estimated Santa Cruz's population at 64,725.
Situated on the northern edge of Monterey Bay, about 32 mi (51 km) south of San Jose and 75 mi (120 km) south of San Francisco, the city is part of the 12-county San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland Combined Statistical Area.
Santa Cruz is known for its moderate climate, natural environment, coastline, redwood forests, alternative community lifestyles, and socially liberal leanings. It is also home to the University of California, Santa Cruz, a premier research institution and educational hub, as well as the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, an oceanfront amusement park operating continuously since 1907.
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