Selecting a Phlebotomy School near Elk Grove California
Choosing the right phlebotomy school near Elk Grove CA is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it’s necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, most prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomist training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are researching to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main function, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Elk Grove CA area labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Elk Grove CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as 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 phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at Elk Grove CA junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, most Elk Grove CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
- American Medical Technologists (AMT).
There are a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like 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 premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To start with, let’s resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Elk Grove CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the Elk Grove CA programs you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose 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 benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Elk Grove CA job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Elk Grove CA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask 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 Ample Training Provided? To begin with, check with 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 looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the Elk Grove CA training program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with Elk Grove CA healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Elk Grove health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Elk Grove CA health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s critical to verify that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Elk Grove CA, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Elk Grove CA?
Elk Grove, California
Elk Grove is a city in Sacramento County, California, located just south of the state capital of Sacramento. It is part of the Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of 2015, the population of the city was estimated at 167,965. The second-largest city in Sacramento County, Elk Grove was the fastest growing city in the U.S. between July 1, 2004, and July 1, 2005.
Spanish explorer Gabriel Moraga entered the region in 1808, naming the valley "Sacramento Valley" in honor of Sacramento, the Holy Sacrament in Spanish, giving the northerly city of Sacramento of which Elk Grove is a suburb its name. A writer on Moraga's expedition wrote of the region: "Canopies of oaks and cottonwoods, many festooned with grapevines, overhung both sides of the blue current. Birds chattered in the trees and big fish darted through the pellucid depths. The air was like champagne, and (the Spaniards) drank deep of it, drank in the beauty around them."
Elk Grove was founded in 1850 as a stage stop for travelers coming from Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area, when the Elk Grove Hotel and Stage Stop was opened by James Hall and the town was subsequently named after it. In 1868 the Western Division of the Central Pacific Railroad came through about a mile east of Elk Grove. At this new location another hotel was built to accommodate travelers and was also named the Elk Grove Hotel.
In the following decades, Elk Grove remained a small farming community with little urban development. In the late 1980s, suburban development projects began to spring up around the community, specifically in the north near Sacramento. This was meant to serve Sacramento's population as well as San Francisco commuters looking for a community relatively near the San Francisco Bay Area which they could settle in and still commute from. This set off a period of rapid suburban growth. On July 1, 2000, Elk Grove incorporated as a city. The growth peaked in the years 2004 and 2005 when Elk Grove was declared the fastest growing city in the US.
Find the Best Phlebotomist College near Elk Grove CA
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Elk Grove CA.
Other Cool Cities in California
Business Results 1 - 10 of 347