Selecting a Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Desert Center California
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician training near Desert Center CA is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, most students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll review more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomist training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomist schools you are considering to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab 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. Some phlebotomists actually work in Desert Center CA area laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Desert Center CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior 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 collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at Desert Center CA junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Desert Center CA employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying agencies 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 phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let’s resolve one likely misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Desert Center CA students. As an added benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen 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 school is important in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a school or program. 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 Desert Center CA colleges you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Desert Center CA job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to 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 students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact several Desert Center CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the Desert Center CA training program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with Desert Center CA healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Desert Center healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Desert Center CA healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it’s crucial to confirm that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Desert Center CA, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Desert Center CA?
Desert Center, California
Desert Center is a census designated place in the Colorado Desert in Riverside County, California. It is in southern California, between the cities of Indio and Blythe at the junction of Interstate 10 and State Route 177 (Desert Center-Rice Road), about halfway between Phoenix and Los Angeles. The ZIP Code is 92239, and the community is in telephone area codes 442 and 760. The elevation is 656 feet (200 m). The population was 204 at the 2010 census.
The town was founded in 1921 by Stephen A. Ragsdale, also known as "Desert Steve", and his wife, Lydia. Ragsdale was an itinerant preacher and cotton farmer, originally from Arkansas. In 1915, he left his farm in the Palo Verde Valley along the Colorado River to attend to some business in Los Angeles. The road between Phoenix and Los Angeles was mostly sand, and Ragsdale's vehicle broke down near a place called Gruendyke's Well. This featured a hand-dug well and was inhabited by a prospector named Bill Gruendyke. Gruendyke rescued Ragsdale and gave him food, shelter, and water until his vehicle was repaired and he could resume his journey to Los Angeles.
Upon his return, Ragsdale bought out Gruendyke and moved his family to the remote spot, where they constructed a small shack with a lean-to that served as a repair garage. A Model T truck was modified to serve as a tow car. Gasoline was pumped by hand from a 55-gallon drum. Lydia served food and refreshments to thirsty and weary travelers. In spite of the remote location—50 miles (80 km) in any direction from anything—the Ragsdales prospered. Ragsdale named his outpost "Desert Center". In 1921, it was announced that the sand road running through Desert Center would be relocated about 5 miles (8.0 km) north, straightened, paved, and named U.S. Route 60, a modern "high-speed" highway. Ragsdale abandoned "old Desert Center" and built a poured-concrete café in the adobe style with an attached gasoline station and a huge service garage. Across the road, a series of wooden structures were built, including a market (which at one time was the largest Coleman camping equipment dealer in the country), and a post office. He also built several cabins for travelers, and a large "plunge" (swimming pool) next to the café where travelers could escape the desert heat.
Ragsdale was a desert eccentric of the first order, and his advertising for Desert Center in publications such as Desert Magazine reflected his personality: "U Need Us—We Need U", "Our Main Street is 100-miles long!", "We lost our keys...we can't close!" (a reference to the fact that the café has been open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year since it opened in 1921), "Free Room and Board Every Day The Sun Doesn't Shine In Desert Center", "If You Don't Believe Me, You Can Go To Hell, or Visit Me in Desert Center in August! Nuf sed, Steve".
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Desert Center CA
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a variety of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Desert Center CA.
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