Selecting a Phlebotomy Technician School near Chatsworth California
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Chatsworth CA is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll talk a bit 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 locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomist schools you are considering to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Chatsworth CA area labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Chatsworth CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working 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 work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with 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 exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at Chatsworth CA community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in most states, many Chatsworth CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the key 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To start with, let’s dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical option for many Chatsworth CA students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on 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 campus is relevant in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the Chatsworth CA colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality 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 earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Chatsworth CA job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Chatsworth CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing 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 reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the Chatsworth CA training program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with Chatsworth CA healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Chatsworth healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Chatsworth CA health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to confirm that the final college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Chatsworth CA, make certain 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 completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Chatsworth CA?
Chatsworth, Los Angeles
The area was home to Native Americans, some of whom left caves containing rock art. Chatsworth was explored and colonized by the Spanish beginning in the 18th century. The land was part of a Mexican land grant in the 19th century, and after the United States took over the land following the Mexican–American War, it was the largest such grant in California. Settlement and development followed.
Chatsworth has seven public and eight private schools. There are large open-space and smaller recreational parks as well as a public library and a transportation center. Distinctive features are the former Chatsworth Reservoir and the Santa Susana Field Laboratory.
The 2000 U.S. census counted 35,073 residents in the 15.24-square-mile Chatsworth neighborhood, or 2,301 people per square mile, among the lowest population densities for both the city and the county. In 2008, the city estimated that the population had increased to 37,102. In 2000 the median age for residents was 40, considered old for city and county neighborhoods; the percentages of residents aged 35 and older were among the county's highest.
The neighborhood was considered to be ethnically "moderately diverse" for both the city of Los Angeles and its county, with a relatively high percentage of whites and of Asian people, and a sizable Hispanic/Latino community. The breakdown was Whites, 65.7%; Asians, 14.4%; Latinos, 13.5%; Blacks, 2.2%; and others, 4.2%. Korea (10.4%) and the Philippines (9.3%) were the most common places of birth for the 25.2% of the residents who were born abroad—a low figure for Los Angeles.
Enroll in the Ideal Phlebotomy School near Chatsworth CA
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each school before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Chatsworth CA.
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