Picking a Phlebotomist School near Chico California
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Chico CA is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, most students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is far more to researching phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomist 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 then resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Chico CA area labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Chico CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at Chico CA junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Chico CA employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
First, let’s dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the course of study will be clinical 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 completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for many Chico CA students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the Chico CA schools you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements 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 clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Chico CA job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. 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 research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Chico CA clinics or hospitals that you might 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 ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the Chico CA training program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with Chico CA health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Chico health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Chico CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s critical to verify that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Chico 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 attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Chico CA?
Chico is the most populous city in Butte County, California, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 86,187, reflecting an increase of 26,233 from the 59,954 counted in the 2000 Census. The city is a cultural, economic, and educational center of the northern Sacramento Valley and home to both California State University, Chico and Bidwell Park, the country's 26th largest municipal park and the 13th largest municipally-owned park. Bidwell Park makes up over 17% of the city.
Other cities in close proximity to the Chico Metropolitan Area (population 212,000) include Paradise and Oroville, while local towns and villages (unincorporated areas) include Durham, Cohasset, Dayton, Nord, and Forest Ranch. The Chico Metropolitan Area is the 14th largest Metropolitan Statistical Area in California.
The original inhabitants of the area now known as Chico were the Mechoopda Maidu Native Americans. The City of Chico was founded in 1860 by John Bidwell, a member of one of the first wagon trains to reach California in 1843. During the American Civil War, Camp Bidwell (named for John Bidwell, by then a Brigadier General of the California Militia), was established a mile outside Chico, by Lt. Col. A. E. Hooker with a company of cavalry and two of infantry, on August 26, 1863.
By early 1865 it was being referred to as Camp Chico when a post called Camp Bidwell was established in northeast California, later to be Fort Bidwell. The city became incorporated January 8, 1872.
Select the Best Phlebotomy College near Chico CA
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Chico CA.
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