Choosing a Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near El Centro California
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near El Centro CA is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most prospective students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far 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 need to be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomist schools you are assessing to help you choose the right 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 Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in El Centro CA area labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as El Centro CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at El Centro CA junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, many El Centro CA employers look for certification before employing 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 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 important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let’s resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many El Centro CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
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 decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the El Centro CA programs you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school 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 several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from 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 examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the El Centro CA job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few El Centro CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? 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 clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the El Centro CA training program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with El Centro CA healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local El Centro medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the El Centro CA medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it’s crucial to confirm that the final college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near El Centro CA, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near El Centro CA?
El Centro, California
El Centro is a city in and county seat of Imperial County, California, the largest city in the Imperial Valley, east anchor of the Southern California Border Region, and the core urban area and principal city of the El Centro metropolitan area which encompasses all of Imperial County. El Centro is also the largest American city to lie entirely below sea level (−42 feet or −13 meters). The city, located in southeastern California, is 113 miles (182 km) from the major Southern California city of San Diego and near the Mexican city of Mexicali.
The city was founded in 1906 by W. F. Holt and C.A. Barker, who purchased the land on which El Centro was eventually built for about $40 per acre ($100 per hectare) and invested $100,000 ($2,700,000 in 2017 dollars) in improvements. The modern city is home to retail, transportation, wholesale, and agricultural industries. There are also two international border crossings nearby for commercial and noncommercial vehicles. El Centro's population was 42,598 at the 2010 census, up from 37,835 in 2000.
Spanish explorer Melchor Díaz was one of the first Europeans to visit the area around El Centro and Imperial Valley in 1540. The explorer Juan Bautista de Anza also explored the area in 1776 (an elementary school in El Centro now bears his name). Years later, after the Mexican–American War, the northern half of the valley was annexed by the U.S., while the southern half remained under Mexican rule. Small scale settlement in natural aquifer areas occurred in the early 19th century (the present-day site of Mexicali), but most permanent settlement (Anglo Americans on the U.S. side, Mexicans on the other side) was after 1900.
Before the town began, the railroad had established a station and named the place Cabarker. The name honored C.A. Barker, a friend of the landowner. The first post office in El Centro opened in 1905.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Course near El Centro CA
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in El Centro CA.
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