Selecting a Phlebotomy School near Dunsmuir California
Picking the right phlebotomy school near Dunsmuir CA is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it’s vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, many potential students begin their search by considering 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 classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Dunsmuir CA area laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Dunsmuir CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type 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 practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at Dunsmuir CA junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Dunsmuir CA employers look for certification before hiring 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s essential 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 Colleges
To start with, let’s dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical option for some Dunsmuir CA students. As an added benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic 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 degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the Dunsmuir CA programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits 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 qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Dunsmuir CA job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s important to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Dunsmuir CA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the Dunsmuir CA training program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with Dunsmuir CA healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Dunsmuir health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Dunsmuir CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s crucial 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 opt to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Dunsmuir CA, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Dunsmuir CA?
The official city slogan is "Home of the best water on Earth". Dunsmuir is currently a hub for tourism in Northern California, with Interstate 5 in California passing through it. Visitors enjoy fishing, skiing, climbing, or sight-seeing. During the steam locomotive railroad era, it was notable for being the site of an important Central Pacific (and later Southern Pacific) railroad yard, where extra steam locomotives were added to assist trains on the grade to the north.
Located in the Shasta Cascade area of Northern California, Dunsmuir is a popular destination for tourists. Visitors come to fish trout in the Sacramento and McCloud Rivers, or to see and climb Mount Shasta, Castle Crags or the Trinity Alps. Visitors ski (both alpine and cross-country) and bicycle, or can hike to the waterfalls, streams and lakes in the area, including nearby Mossbrae Falls, Hedge Creek Falls, Lake Siskiyou, Castle Lake and Shasta Lake.
Dunsmuir is located on the Upper Sacramento River, a blue ribbon trout stream that attracts fishermen from all over the world. Wild rainbow trout abound in the river. Additionally, the City has a private stocking permit from the Department of Fish and Game. The City currently has a "Big Fish Program" and stocks the river within the city limits with trophy-sized rainbow trout up to 14 pounds (6.4 kg). These stockings take place during the summer months. Catch-and-release fishing is permitted in the river during the off-season, so fly-fishing is available year-round.
The town is also a destination for historical and cultural tourists, as the town has preserved an authentic 1920s and 1930s look and feel. Dunsmuir's long connection with the railroad draws railfans to enjoy the sights and sounds of the railroad in the steep Sacramento River canyon. Dunsmuir is officially a Union Pacific "Train Town" and enjoys many financial benefits because of its relationship with the railroad.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Dunsmuir CA
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Dunsmuir CA.
Other Cool Cities in California