Choosing a Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Imperial Beach California
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near Imperial Beach CA is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it’s vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most potential students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider 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 remember is that there is much more to researching phlebotomist training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to 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 phlebotomist schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Imperial Beach CA area laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Imperial Beach CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at Imperial Beach CA junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in most states, most Imperial Beach CA employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
- American Medical Technologists (AMT).
There are some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let’s dispel one possible misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Imperial Beach CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the Imperial Beach CA schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Imperial Beach CA job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, 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 start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Imperial Beach CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the Imperial Beach CA training program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with Imperial Beach CA healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Imperial Beach health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer 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 school has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Imperial Beach CA health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s critical to make sure that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Imperial Beach CA, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Imperial Beach CA?
Imperial Beach, California
Imperial Beach is a residential beach city in San Diego County, California, with a population of 26,324 at the 2010 census. The city is the southernmost city in California and the West Coast of the United States. It is in the South Bay area of San Diego County, 14.1 miles (22.7 km) south of downtown San Diego and 5 miles (8.0 km) northwest of downtown Tijuana, Mexico.
Imperial Beach is located at 32°34′42″N 117°7′2″W / 32.57833°N 117.11722°W / 32.57833; -117.11722 (32.578255, -117.117111) making it the most southwesterly city in the continental United States. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.5 square miles (12 km2). 4.2 square miles (11 km2) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2) of it (7.22%) is water. The city occupies the extreme southwest corner of the continental United States: bordered by Playas de Tijuana, Tijuana, Mexico to the south, Coronado, California and the San Diego Bay to the north, San Diego to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west.
Imperial Beach is located in San Diego County, the fifth most-populous county in the United States and part of the San Diego Metropolitan Area, the 17th largest metropolitan area in the United States with over 3 million people. It is also part of the San Diego – Tijuana metropolitan area, the largest bi-national metropolitan area shared between the United States and Mexico with over 5 million people.
Founded in June 1887, the city takes its name from Imperial County, California, a desert climate 100 miles (160 km) east. Farmers and land owners from the Imperial Valley came to the area in the late 1880s seeking cooler weather during summer months. In March 1887, over 2,000 laborers descended upon nearby Coronado, California to construct the Hotel del Coronado, the largest resort in the world at the time. A large number of the workers stayed in Imperial Beach and some would later make it their permanent homestead. The city would incorporate in 1956, operating its own Mayor-council government providing city fire department service and policing by the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.
Find the Ideal Phlebotomist Course near Imperial Beach CA
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential 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 go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal program for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Imperial Beach CA.
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