Choosing a Phlebotomy Training Program near Altadena California
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Altadena CA is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomist training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Altadena CA area laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Altadena CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at Altadena CA junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Altadena CA employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you choose 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.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let’s resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for some Altadena CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 school is important in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the Altadena CA programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills 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 phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Altadena CA job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges 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 screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Altadena CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the Altadena CA training program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with Altadena CA medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Altadena healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate 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 an extensive network of professional contacts within the Altadena CA health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s crucial to make sure that the final school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Altadena CA, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure 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 ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Altadena CA?
Altadena is an unincorporated area and census-designated place in Los Angeles County, California, United States, approximately 14 miles (23 km) from the downtown Los Angeles Civic Center, and directly north of the city of Pasadena, California. The population was 42,777 at the 2010 census, up from 42,610 at the 2000 census.
In the mid-1860s, Benjamin Eaton first developed water sources from the Arroyo Seco and Eaton Canyon to irrigate his vineyard near the edge of Eaton Canyon. This made possible the development of Altadena, Pasadena, and South Pasadena. He did the construction for B. D. Wilson and Dr. John Griffin, who jointly owned the Mexican land grant of Rancho San Pascual, about 14,000 acres (57 km2), that was the future sites of these three communities. They hoped to develop and sell this land in a real estate plan called the San Pasqual Plantation. Their efforts failed by 1870, despite Eaton's irrigation ditch that drew water from the site of present-day Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Arroyo Seco. They had failed because the land was relatively inaccessible and few believed crops could thrive that close to the mountains.
Eaton tried to sell the land for the partners, and in late 1873 he helped broker a deal with Daniel Berry, who represented a group of investors from Indiana, to buy 4,000 acres (16 km2) of the rancho. This included the land of present-day Altadena, but they developed a 2,500 acres (10 km2) section further south as Pasadena. In 1881, the land that would later become Altadena was sold to John and Fred Woodbury, brothers who launched the subdivision of Altadena in 1887. The land remained primarily agricultural, though several eastern millionaires built mansions along Mariposa Street, and a small community developed through the 1890s and into the next century.
In 1880, Capt. Frederick Woodbury, and his brother, John Woodbury of Marshalltown, Iowa, purchased 937 acres (3.79 km2) known as the Woodbury Ranch. John Woodbury established the Pasadena Improvement Company in 1887, with a plot plan of residential development referred to as the Woodbury Subdivision. They contacted Byron O. Clark, who established a nursery in the foothills in 1875, and had since moved away. He called his nursery "Altadena Nursery", a name he coined from the Spanish "alta" meaning "upper", and "dena" from Pasadena. Woodbury asked if he could use the name "Altadena" for his subdivision and Clark agreed.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy School near Altadena CA
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each school before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Altadena CA.
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