Choosing a Phlebotomy Training Program near Laguna Hills California
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Laguna Hills CA is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll review more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomist schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory 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 Laguna Hills CA area labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Laguna Hills CA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing 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 exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together 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 specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at Laguna Hills CA junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, many Laguna Hills CA employers require certification before employing technicians. Some 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s essential 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 Colleges
First, let’s dispel one likely misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Laguna Hills CA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you want 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 tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the Laguna Hills CA programs you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, 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 a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Laguna Hills CA job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Laguna Hills CA clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the Laguna Hills CA training program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with Laguna Hills CA medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Laguna Hills healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Laguna Hills CA health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s crucial to make sure that the final program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Laguna Hills CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain 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 Laguna Hills CA?
Laguna Hills, California
Laguna Hills (/ləˈɡuːnə/) is a city in Orange County, California, United States. Its name refers to its proximity to Laguna Canyon and the much older Laguna Beach. Other newer cities nearby—Laguna Niguel and Laguna Woods—are similarly named.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.7 square miles (17 km2). 6.7 square miles (17 km2) of it is land and 0.025 square miles (0.065 km2) of it (0.37%) is water.
Laguna Hills is built on one of the major land grants developed during the rancho era. Following Mexico's independence from Spain in 1821, those who had served in the government or who had friends in authority, were given vast lands for cattle grazing. Rancho Lomas de Santiago, Rancho San Joaquin, and Rancho Niguel covered much of the western portion of the Saddleback Valley. Don Juan Avila was granted the 13,000-acre Rancho Niguel on which Laguna Hills is located.
In 1894, Lewis Moulton purchased Rancho Niguel from Don Juan Avila and increased the original grant to 22,000 acres (89 km2). Moulton and his partner, Jean Piedra Daguerre, used the ranch to raise sheep and cattle. The Moulton Ranch was eventually subdivided in the early 1960s, and part of the division became today's Laguna Hills.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Course near Laguna Hills CA
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Laguna Hills CA.
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