Choosing a Phlebotomy School near Calistoga California
Picking the right phlebotomy school near Calistoga CA is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We’ll talk more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is far more to researching phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomist schools you are considering to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. 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. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Calistoga CA area laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Calistoga CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at Calistoga CA junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Calistoga CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary certifying agencies 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
First, let’s resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for some Calistoga CA students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
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 may have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the Calistoga CA schools you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working 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 respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Calistoga CA job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Calistoga CA hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. 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 clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the Calistoga CA training program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with Calistoga CA health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Calistoga health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Calistoga CA medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s important to make sure that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Calistoga CA, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Calistoga CA?
The Upper Napa Valley was once the home of a significant population of Indigenous People, called the Wappo during the Spanish colonial era of the late 18th century. With abundant oak trees providing acorns as a food staple and the natural hot springs as a healing ground Calistoga (Wappo: Nilektsonoma, "Chicken Hawk Place") was the site of several villages. Following Mexican Independence, mission properties were secularized and disposed of by the Mexican government with much of the Napa Valley being partitioned into large ranchos in the 1830s and 1840s. The first Anglo settlers began arriving in the 1840s, with several taking up lands in the Calistoga area.
Samuel Brannan was the leader of a Mormon settlement expedition on the ship Brooklyn landing in Yerba Buena (San Francisco) in 1846. He published San Francisco's first English language newspaper, the California Star. Following the discovery of gold in Coloma, Brannan pursued many business ventures, which made him California's first millionaire and became a leader in San Francisco's Committee of Vigilance. Fascinated by Calistoga's natural hot springs, Brannan purchased more than 2,000 acres (8 km2) with the intent to develop a spa reminiscent of Saratoga Springs in New York. "The name of Calistoga was given to the place in the fall of 1867, by Mr. Brannan. It was his boast that he was going to make the place the Saratoga of California, so he spliced the names and called it Cal (is) toga, the middle syllable for euphony. The place had already been previously called Hot Springs by the few Americans, and Agua Caliente by the Spaniards and Indians."
A writer later claimed that Brannan intended to say "I'll make this place the Saratoga of California," but it came out "the Calistoga of Sarifornia". His Hot Springs Resort surrounding Mt Lincoln with the Spa/Hotel located at what is now Indian Springs Resort, opened to California's rich and famous in 1862. In 1868 Brannan's Napa Valley Railroad Company's track was completed to Calistoga. This provided an easier travel option for ferry passengers making the journey from San Francisco. With the addition of railroad service, Calistoga became not only a destination, but also the transportation hub for the upper valley and a gateway to Lake and Sonoma Counties. A 6-meter diorama of this early Calistoga can be seen in the Sharpsteen Museum.
Calistoga's economy was based on mining (silver and mercury) agriculture (grapes, prunes and walnuts) and tourism (the hot springs). One of the early visitors was Robert Louis Stevenson. Yet to write his great novels, he had just married Fanny Vandegrift in San Francisco in May 1880, and the couple honeymooned at the Calistoga Hot Springs Hotel days later. Desiring to stay in the area, they moved from the hotel to an abandoned cabin at the nearby Silverado Mine on Mount Saint Helena. While working on other stories Stevenson kept a journal which became the Silverado Squatters describing many local features, residents and characters.
Select the Ideal Phlebotomy College near Calistoga CA
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Calistoga CA.
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