Choosing a Phlebotomist School near El Cerrito California
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near El Cerrito CA is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it’s important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local 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 cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomist schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in El Cerrito CA area laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including El Cerrito 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 young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing 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, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at El Cerrito CA community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of El Cerrito CA employers require certification before employing technicians. Some 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
First, let’s resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for many El Cerrito CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind 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 relevant in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the El Cerrito CA schools you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the El Cerrito CA job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with several El Cerrito CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the El Cerrito CA training program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with El Cerrito CA health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local El Cerrito healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing provide 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 college has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the El Cerrito CA medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s critical to verify that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near El Cerrito CA, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 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.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near El Cerrito CA?
El Cerrito, California
El Cerrito is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States, and forms part of the San Francisco Bay Area. It has a population of 23,549 according to the 2010 census. El Cerrito was founded by refugees from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. It was incorporated in 1917 as a village with 1,500 residents. As of the census in 2000, there were 23,171 people, 10,208 households and 5,971 families in the city. The top 20 employers in the city, according to the 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, include such entities as the West Contra Costa Unified School District, the City of El Cerrito, Lucky Stores, Pastime ACE Hardware, and Honda of El Cerrito.
El Cerrito was founded by refugees from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. They settled in what was then Don Víctor Castro's Rancho San Pablo, and adjacent to the ranch owned by the family of Luís María Peralta, the Rancho San Antonio. A post office opened at the settlement in 1909 and the refugee camp became known as Rust, after Wilhelm F. Rust, its first postmaster. The village's residents did not care for the name and changed it to El Cerrito in 1916, in reference to the prominent Albany Hill just south of the village (the name means "little hill" or "knoll"). A year later, El Cerrito was incorporated as a village with 1,500 residents.
El Cerrito is located on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay. The hilly areas of El Cerrito provide views of its neighboring city, and of the Golden Gate Bridge. El Cerrito is located along Interstate 80, and nearby Interstate 580. The city is less than 30 miles from two major airports. El Cerrito is bordered by Albany and Kensington to the south, the Richmond annex to the west, East Richmond Heights to the north, and Wildcat Canyon Regional Park to the east. Local landmark Albany Hill is in Albany, just across the border with El Cerrito. (El Cerrito—Spanish, "the little hill"—takes its name from Albany Hill.) The Hayward Fault runs through El Cerrito. In addition, El Cerrito is within 150 meters (490 feet) of Berkeley to the southeast.
The city's primary transportation infrastructure consists of the El Cerrito Plaza and El Cerrito del Norte BART stations, along with several local bus lines operated by AC Transit, providing access to the surrounding area and the nearby cities of Albany, Berkeley and Richmond. In addition to this local service, El Cerrito is also served by AC Transit's transbay buses to the San Francisco Transbay Terminal, as well as its late night service from the del Norte station through Richmond, San Pablo, and Pinole, and one of the All Nighter routes, which follows the Richmond-Millbrae BART line. FAST, Golden Gate Transit, Vallejo Transit, Napa VINE, and WestCat provide feeder service between the del Norte station and elsewhere in Contra Costa County and the North Bay.
Select the Ideal Phlebotomist Training Program near El Cerrito CA
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each school before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in El Cerrito CA.
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