Picking a Phlebotomist School near Clearlake California
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy training near Clearlake CA is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it’s vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to researching phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomist schools you are researching 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 resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Clearlake CA area laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Clearlake CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at Clearlake CA junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in most states, a number of Clearlake CA employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the key 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To start with, let’s resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical 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 in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for some Clearlake CA students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type 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 important in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the Clearlake CA programs you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical 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 extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies 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 respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Clearlake CA job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s essential 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 students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact several Clearlake CA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working 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 looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the Clearlake CA training program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with Clearlake CA healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Clearlake healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Clearlake CA health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s important to make sure that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Clearlake CA, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Clearlake CA?
Clearlake is a city in Lake County, California. Clearlake is 4.5 miles (7.2 km) north-northwest of Lower Lake, at an elevation of 1417 feet (432 m). As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 15,250, up from 13,142 at the 2000 census. It takes its name from Clear Lake.
The first inhabitants of Clearlake were the Pomo Indians who gave the name to many of the areas features including Mount Konocti. Beginning in 1821, enslavement and mistreatment by Spanish soldiers and missionaries, Mexican land barons, European settlers, and gold diggers, combined with a lack of natural immunity to European diseases, which resulted in a massive wave of deaths. The result of this was massive amounts of land freed up for the white settlers who arrived during the gold rush.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.6 square miles (27 km2), of which, 10.1 square miles (26 km2) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) of it is water. The total area is 4.27% water.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Clearlake had a population of 15,250. The population density was 1,441.3 people per square mile (556.5/km²). The racial makeup of Clearlake was 11,262 (73.8%) White, 614 (4.0%) African American, 400 (2.6%) Native American, 161 (1.1%) Asian, 27 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 1,805 (11.8%) from other races, and 981 (6.4%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3,248 persons (21.3%).
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Clearlake CA
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each college before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Clearlake CA.
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