Picking a Phlebotomy School near Calexico California
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near Calexico CA is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible 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 two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomist training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Calexico CA area laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Calexico CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood samples from a certain 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 collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally 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 fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at Calexico CA community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, most Calexico CA employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To begin with, let’s dispel one possible misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for some Calexico CA students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may 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 important in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the Calexico CA colleges you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Calexico CA job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Calexico 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 contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, contact 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 phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the Calexico CA training program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with Calexico CA medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Calexico medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Calexico CA medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Calexico CA, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Calexico CA?
Calexico is a city in Imperial County, California. The population was 38,572 at the 2010 census, up from 27,109 at the 2000 census. Calexico is about 122 miles (196 km) east of San Diego and 62 miles (100 km) west of Yuma, Arizona. The name of the city is a portmanteau of California and Mexico, which, like that of its adjacent sister city of Mexicali, emphasizes its identity as a border city.
According to the United States Census Bureau, at the 2010 census, the city had a total area of 6.2 square miles (16 km2), all land. Calexico is located 230 miles (370 km) southeast of Los Angeles, 125 miles (201 km) east of San Diego, 260 miles (420 km) west of Phoenix, and adjacent to Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico.
Calexico is served by State Routes 98, 7 and 111, with direct connection to Interstate 8 (5 miles north) and State Route 86. There are eighteen regular and irregular common carriers for intrastate and interstate truck service to Calexico.
Within city limits is Calexico International Airport, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection check-point for private passenger and air-cargo flights entering the U.S. from Mexico. Private charter services are also available there.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist School near Calexico CA
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary slightly across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Calexico CA.
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