Selecting a Phlebotomy School near El Cajon California
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician school near El Cajon CA is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it’s vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to researching phlebotomist training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must 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 phlebotomist schools you are researching to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in El Cajon CA area labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including El Cajon CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at El Cajon CA junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, a number of El Cajon CA employers require certification before hiring 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
First, let’s dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for many El Cajon CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the El Cajon CA schools you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several 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 take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the El Cajon CA job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact several El Cajon CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the El Cajon CA training program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with El Cajon CA medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local El Cajon medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the El Cajon CA healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near El Cajon CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near El Cajon CA?
El Cajon, California
El Cajon (/ɛlkəˈhoʊn/; Spanish: [elkaˈxon]) is a city in San Diego County, California, United States located 17 miles (27 km) east of Downtown San Diego. In a valley surrounded by mountains, the city has acquired the nickname of "The Big Box." Its name originated similarly, from the Spanish phrase "el cajón," which means "the box" or "the drawer."
El Cajon, Spanish for "the big box," was first recorded on September 10, 1821, as an alternative name for sitio rancho Santa Mónica to describe the "boxed in" nature of the valley in which it sat. The name appeared on maps in 1873 and 1875, shortened to "Cajon," until the modern town developed in which the post office was named "Elcajon."
El Cajon is located at 32°47′54″N 116°57′36″W / 32.79833°N 116.96000°W / 32.79833; -116.96000 (32.798300, -116.960055). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.4 square miles (37 km2), all land. It is bordered by San Diego and La Mesa on the west, Spring Valley on the south, Santee on the north, and unincorporated San Diego County on the east. It includes the neighborhoods of Fletcher Hills, Bostonia, and Rancho San Diego.
Under the Köppen climate classification system, El Cajon straddles areas of Mediterranean climate (CSa) and semi-arid climate (BSh). As a result, it is often described as "arid Mediterranean" and "semi-arid Steppe". Like most inland areas in Southern California, the climate varies dramatically within a short distance, known as microclimate. El Cajon's climate has greater extremes compared to coastal San Diego. The farther east from the coast, the more arid the climate gets, until one reaches the mountains, where precipitation increases due to orographic uplift.
Enroll in the Ideal Phlebotomist Course near El Cajon CA
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a number of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in El Cajon CA.
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