Choosing a Phlebotomy School near Arcata California
Picking the right phlebotomist school near Arcata CA is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is much more to researching phlebotomist training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Arcata CA area labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Arcata CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect 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 drawing blood samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at Arcata CA junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, most Arcata 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let’s resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant 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. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Arcata CA students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the Arcata CA schools you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Arcata CA job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? 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 imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several Arcata CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the Arcata CA training program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with Arcata CA medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Arcata health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Arcata CA medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s crucial to confirm that the final college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Arcata CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Arcata CA?
Arcata, originally Union Town or Union, is a city adjacent to the Arcata Bay (northern) portion of Humboldt Bay in Humboldt County, California, United States. At the 2010 census, Arcata's population was 17,231. Arcata, located 280 miles (450 km) north of San Francisco (via Highway 101), is home to Humboldt State University. Arcata is also the location of the Arcata Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Land Management, which is responsible for the administration of natural resources, lands and mineral programs, including the Headwaters Forest, on approximately 200,000 acres of public land in Northwestern California.
Arcata has been notably progressive in its political makeup, and was the first city in the United States to elect a majority of its city council members from the Green Party. As a result of the progressive majority, Arcata capped the number of chain restaurants allowed in the city. Arcata was also the first municipality to ban the growth of any type of Genetically Modified Organism within city limits, with exceptions for research and educational purposes.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.0 square miles (28.5 km2), of which 9.1 square miles (23.6 km2) is land and 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2) (17.25%) is water.
Arcata contains major public and shopping areas within the city. They include: the Downtown/Plaza Area, Northtown, and Valley West (each of these are also large neighborhoods). There are additional named neighborhoods encompassed by the city: They include: Aldergrove, Alliance (which was once a separate community located North of Arcata), Arcata Bottoms, portions of Bayside (despite it having its own Post Office and postal code), Bayview, California Heights, the Creamery District, Fickle Hill (lower portions), Greenview, the Marsh District (aka South G Street), Redwood Park (which includes the City owned Redwood forest), Sunny Brae, Sunset, and Westwood. Arcata also has the Arcata Marsh, a preserve located on the City's bay shore.
Find the Best Phlebotomy College near Arcata CA
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Arcata CA.
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