Selecting a Phlebotomy Training Course near Clearlake Oaks California
Choosing the right phlebotomist training near Clearlake Oaks CA is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, most prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is a lot more to researching 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 selection process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomist schools you are considering 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.
Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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 Clearlake Oaks CA area laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Clearlake Oaks CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at Clearlake Oaks CA junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Clearlake Oaks CA employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying agencies 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
First, let’s resolve one likely misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for many Clearlake Oaks CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 school is important in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the Clearlake Oaks CA schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification 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 practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Clearlake Oaks CA job market.
What is the School’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 along with accreditation, it’s essential to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Clearlake Oaks CA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the Clearlake Oaks CA training program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with Clearlake Oaks CA health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Clearlake Oaks healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Clearlake Oaks CA medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it’s critical to confirm that the final college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Clearlake Oaks CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Clearlake Oaks CA?
Clearlake Oaks, California
Clearlake Oaks is a census-designated place (CDP) in Lake County, California, United States. It is located on the extreme southeast of Clear Lake, 13 miles (20.8 km) east-southeast of Lakeport, at an elevation of 1,335 feet (407 m). The population was 2,359 at the 2010 census, down from 2,402 at the 2000 census.
The site of the original town, inland of State Route 20, was subdivided by the 1920s. Situated in a broad canyon mouth, the original town site is about 4 blocks long and 3 deep, triangular in shape, with a plaza site in its center. Today the plaza is paved and used for parking by the church located along the west side. Most of the homes in the village remain true to their "fishing cottage" roots.
The Stubbs post office opened in 1926, and changed its name to Clearlake Oaks in 1935. The name Stubbs honored Charles Stubbs, a local landowner. The relocation of the post office, the aging population, and the coming of Wal-Mart have combined to kill the "downtown". Fifteen years ago, there were two markets, a chain hardware store, two gas stations, video store, salon, and several restaurants and bars. A privately operated marina had fish and ski boats for rent. But by the late nineties, Clearlake Oaks was down to one market, one convenience store, and a struggling antique store.
The park, beach, and pier were refurbished a few years back. Recently, a wine-tasting room has opened and live music can again be heard at The Barn. There is hope that something may be yet built at the sites of The Timbers or Sal's Market. As of 2007 the property next to the grocery store was being cleared and turned into a park, called Nylander Park after the owner of the local grocery store. There are two gas stations, several saloons, a post office, and several restaurants.
Find the Best Phlebotomy College near Clearlake Oaks CA
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Clearlake Oaks CA.
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