Choosing a Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near West Hills California
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near West Hills CA is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, many prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll talk more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are considering 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.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in West Hills CA area laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including West Hills CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at West Hills CA community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of West Hills CA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To begin with, let’s resolve one likely misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for some West Hills CA students. As an added benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you choose 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 premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the West Hills CA programs you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example 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. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the West Hills CA job market.
What is the College’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 imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few West Hills CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the West Hills CA training program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with West Hills CA medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local West Hills health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the West Hills CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it’s important to make sure that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near West Hills CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near West Hills CA?
West Hills, Los Angeles
West Hills is an affluent residential and commercial neighborhood in the western San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles, California. The percentage of residents aged 35 and older is among the highest in Los Angeles County.
The neighborhood was formerly the home of many Native American tribes, and during the early Spanish and Mexican era was part of the Mission San Fernando Rey de España. In the American era, West Hills was part of Owensmouth, which was renamed Canoga Park in 1930. West Hills was established in western Canoga Park and retained its present name in 1987.
Historic landmarks and many city parks are to be found within the community, as are commercial districts, a business district, and religious establishments. Two private high schools are among the 13 schools within West Hills.
West Hills (formerly joined with Canoga Park) is located in the West San Fernando Valley (SFV) in the county of Los Angeles and about 30 minutes (depending on traffic) from Downtown Los Angeles. It is off of the 101 Ventura freeway offramp Valley Circle Blvd/Mullholland Highway.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy College near West Hills CA
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in West Hills CA.
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