How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near West Sacramento CA is an important initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it’s important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We’ll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need 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 reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
Right out of the gate, few 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 naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other West Sacramento CA medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around 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 required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able 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 screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in West Sacramento CA laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including West Sacramento CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, most West Sacramento CA employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the key certifying agencies 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
First, let’s dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for many West Sacramento CA students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
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 might have already chosen 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 campus is relevant if you will be commuting from West Sacramento CA as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. 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 fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to 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. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the West Sacramento CA job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several West Sacramento CA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. 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 lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local West Sacramento CA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the West Sacramento CA health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s critical to verify that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near West Sacramento CA, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Phlebotomy Training Programs West Sacramento California
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your final decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomy Training Programs and to get more information regarding Schools That Offer Phlebotomy Courses. However, by addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in West Sacramento CA.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in California
West Sacramento, California
West Sacramento (also known as West Sac) is a city in Yolo County, California. The city is separated from Sacramento by the Sacramento River which also separates Sacramento and Yolo counties. It is a fast-growing community; the population was 48,744 at the 2010 census, up from 31,615 at the 2000 census. The traditional industrial center of the region since the Gold Rush era, West Sacramento is home to a diverse economy and is one of the area's top four employment centers.
West Sacramento is part of the Sacramento–Arden Arcade–Roseville Metropolitan Statistical Area which has a population (2000) of approximately 1,796,857. Major industries to the region include agriculture, government, and transportation.
In 1844, John Schwartz, a Flemish traveler, was the first Euro-American to permanently settle in the area of West Sacramento, which at that time was part of Mexico. He built a shack on the west bank of the Sacramento River six miles (10 km) south of its connection with the American River. John, with the help of his brother George, founded a salmon fishery along the river. In addition to the fishery, they also found the soil to be fertile and began farming and raising livestock. The announcement of the discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill in 1848 brought a multitude of miners to the region. This also coincided with the end of the Mexican–American War.
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