Picking a Phlebotomy Training Program near La Mesa California
Picking the ideal phlebotomist school near La Mesa CA is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it’s vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to researching 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 decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomist schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in La Mesa CA area labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality assurance 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 are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as La Mesa CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at La Mesa CA community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many La Mesa CA employers require certification before employing technicians. A few 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To begin with, let’s resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some La Mesa CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the La Mesa CA schools you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the La Mesa CA job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few La Mesa CA clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact 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? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist 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 less than these minimums may signify that the La Mesa CA training program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with La Mesa CA health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local La Mesa health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the La Mesa CA health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s important to make sure that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near La Mesa CA, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure 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 because of illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near La Mesa CA?
La Mesa, California
La Mesa is a city in Southern California, located 9 miles (14 km) east of Downtown San Diego in San Diego County. The population was 57,065 at the 2010 census, up from 54,749 at the 2000 census. Its civic motto is "the Jewel of the Hills."
La Mesa in Spanish means "the table", or alternately "the plateau", relating to its geography. La Mesa was part of a larger tract, Mission San Diego de Alcalá, and was used by Spanish Missionaries.
La Mesa was founded in 1869 and The City of La Mesa was incorporated on February 16, 1912, under the general laws of the state of California. As such, it does not have a city charter but operates under the laws of the state of California in all respects not specifically covered by any city ordinance.
La Mesa is located at 32°46′17″N 117°1′22″W / 32.77139°N 117.02278°W / 32.77139; -117.02278 (32.771450, -117.022797). It is bordered by the city of San Diego on the west and north, Spring Valley and Lemon Grove on the south, and El Cajon on the east. It includes the neighborhood of Grossmont.
Select the Best Phlebotomy School near La Mesa CA
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in medical care and health 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 important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in La Mesa CA.
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