Choosing a Phlebotomy Technician School near Bakersfield California
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Bakersfield CA is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may look into 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 far more to researching phlebotomist 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 as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are considering to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. 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 time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Bakersfield CA area labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Bakersfield 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. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at Bakersfield CA junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Bakersfield CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
First, let’s dispel one possible misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part 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 completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical option for some Bakersfield CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the Bakersfield CA schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working 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 complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Bakersfield CA job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with several Bakersfield CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the Bakersfield CA training program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with Bakersfield CA healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Bakersfield medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Bakersfield CA health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s important to verify that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Bakersfield CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Bakersfield CA?
Bakersfield is a city in and the county seat of Kern County, California, United States. It covers about 142 sq mi (370 km2) near the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley and the Central Valley region. Bakersfield's population is around 380,000, making it the 9th-most populous city in California and the 52nd-most populous city in the nation. The Bakersfield–Delano Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Kern County, had a 2010 census population of 839,631, making it the 62nd-largest metropolitan area in the United States. The more built-up urban area that includes Bakersfield and areas immediately around the city, such as East Bakersfield, Oildale, and Rosedale, has a population of over 520,000. Bakersfield is a charter city.
The city is a significant hub for both agriculture and oil production. Kern County is the most productive oil-producing county and the fourth-most productive agricultural county (by value) in the United States. Industries include natural gas and other energy extraction, aerospace, mining, petroleum refining, manufacturing, distribution, food processing, and corporate regional offices. The city is also the birthplace of the country music genre known as the Bakersfield sound.
Archaeological evidence indicates the presence of Native American settlements dating back thousands of years. The Yokuts lived in lodges along the branches of the Kern River delta and hunted antelope, tule elk, deer, bear, fish, and game birds. In 1776, Spanish missionary Father Francisco Garcés became the first European to explore the area. Owing to the remoteness and inaccessibility of the region, however, the Yokuts remained largely isolated until after the Mexican War of Independence, when Mexican settlers began to migrate to the area. Following the discovery of gold in California in 1848, settlers flooded into the San Joaquin Valley. In 1851, gold was discovered along the Kern River in the southern Sierra Nevada, and in 1865, oil was discovered in the valley. The Bakersfield area, once a tule reed-covered marshland, was first known as Kern Island to the handful of pioneers, who built log cabins there in 1860. The area was subject to periodic flooding from the Kern River, which occupied what is now the downtown area, and experienced outbreaks of malaria.
In 1862, disastrous floods swept away the original settlement founded in 1860 by the German-born Christian Bohna. Among those attracted to the area by the California gold rush was Thomas Baker, a lawyer and former colonel in the militia of Ohio, his home state. Baker moved to the banks of the Kern River in 1863, at what became known as Baker's Field, which became a stopover for travelers. By 1870, with a population of 600, what is now known as Bakersfield was becoming the principal town in Kern County.
Select the Right Phlebotomist Course near Bakersfield CA
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each college before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bakersfield CA.
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