Selecting a Phlebotomy School near Elk California
Selecting the right phlebotomy training near Elk CA is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it’s important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, many students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify 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 point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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 actually work in Elk CA area laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Elk CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a basic 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at Elk CA junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, many Elk CA employers look for 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
First, let’s resolve one likely misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical option for many Elk CA students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the Elk CA programs you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several 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 phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills 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 College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Elk CA job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. 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 screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Elk CA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the Elk CA training program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with Elk CA healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Elk medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Elk CA health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s crucial to confirm that the final college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Elk CA, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Elk CA?
Elk Grove, California
Elk Grove is a city in Sacramento County, California, located just south of the state capital of Sacramento. It is part of the Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of 2015, the population of the city was estimated at 167,965. The second-largest city in Sacramento County, Elk Grove was the fastest growing city in the U.S. between July 1, 2004, and July 1, 2005.
Spanish explorer Gabriel Moraga entered the region in 1808, naming the valley "Sacramento Valley" in honor of Sacramento, the Holy Sacrament in Spanish, giving the northerly city of Sacramento of which Elk Grove is a suburb its name. A writer on Moraga's expedition wrote of the region: "Canopies of oaks and cottonwoods, many festooned with grapevines, overhung both sides of the blue current. Birds chattered in the trees and big fish darted through the pellucid depths. The air was like champagne, and (the Spaniards) drank deep of it, drank in the beauty around them."
Elk Grove was founded in 1850 as a stage stop for travelers coming from Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area, when the Elk Grove Hotel and Stage Stop was opened by James Hall and the town was subsequently named after it. In 1868 the Western Division of the Central Pacific Railroad came through about a mile east of Elk Grove. At this new location another hotel was built to accommodate travelers and was also named the Elk Grove Hotel.
In the following decades, Elk Grove remained a small farming community with little urban development. In the late 1980s, suburban development projects began to spring up around the community, specifically in the north near Sacramento. This was meant to serve Sacramento's population as well as San Francisco commuters looking for a community relatively near the San Francisco Bay Area which they could settle in and still commute from. This set off a period of rapid suburban growth which peaked in the years 2004 and 2005 when Elk Grove was declared the fastest growing city in the US.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy School near Elk CA
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each college before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Elk CA.
Other Cool Cities in California