Picking a Phlebotomist Training Program near Fairfax California
Picking the ideal phlebotomy school near Fairfax CA is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it’s important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is much more to researching phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. 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 choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out 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 an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Fairfax CA area laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Fairfax CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at Fairfax CA community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, most Fairfax CA employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the principal 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let’s resolve one possible misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical option for some Fairfax CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive 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 obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the Fairfax CA schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. 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 preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Fairfax CA job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Fairfax CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the Fairfax CA training program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with Fairfax CA medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Fairfax health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Fairfax CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Fairfax CA, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Fairfax CA?
Fairfax is an incorporated town in Marin County, California, United States. Fairfax is located 3.25 miles (5.2 km) west-northwest of San Rafael, at an elevation of 115 feet (35 m). The population is 7,441 at the 2010 census. Fairfax is the only town in America that holds a Green Party majority in the town council.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Fairfax had a population of 7,441. The population density was 3,376.9 people per square mile (1,303.8/km²). The racial makeup of Fairfax was 6,617 (88.9%) White, 110 (1.5%) African American, 36 (0.5%) Native American, 204 (2.7%) Asian, 4 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 174 (2.3%) from other races, and 296 (4.0%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 504 persons (6.8%).
There were 3,379 households, out of which 939 (27.8%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 1,422 (42.1%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 319 (9.4%) had a female householder with no husband present, 134 (4.0%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 267 (7.9%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 52 (1.5%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 1,076 households (31.8%) were made up of individuals and 320 (9.5%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20. There were 1,875 families (55.5% of all households); the average family size was 2.77.
The population was spread out with 1,436 people (19.3%) under the age of 18, 342 people (4.6%) aged 18 to 24, 1,806 people (24.3%) aged 25 to 44, 2,907 people (39.1%) aged 45 to 64, and 950 people (12.8%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45.9 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.9 males.
Choose the Ideal Phlebotomist School near Fairfax CA
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. 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 education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Fairfax CA.
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