Picking a Phlebotomist School near Larkspur California
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician training near Larkspur CA is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We’ll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. 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 Larkspur CA area laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Larkspur CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as 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 phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at Larkspur CA community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in most states, most Larkspur CA employers require 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
First, let’s resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Larkspur CA students. As an added benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (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 disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding 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 intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a program or school. 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 Larkspur CA programs you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. 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 working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized 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 a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Larkspur CA job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Larkspur CA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact 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 Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the Larkspur CA training program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with Larkspur CA medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Larkspur medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college 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 as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Larkspur CA healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s important to verify that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Larkspur CA, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Larkspur CA?
Larkspur is a city in Marin County, California, United States. Larkspur is located 3 miles (4.8 km) south of San Rafael, at an elevation of 43 feet (13 m). As of the 2010 Census, the city's population was 11,926. Larkspur is located north of San Francisco near Mount Tamalpais. Larkspur's Police Department is shared with that of the neighboring Corte Madera and town of San Anselmo as the Central Marin Police Authority. Intersecting Larkspur's downtown is Madrone Canyon, a residential area amidst a redwood grove.
Charles W. Wright laid out the town in 1887. The first post office opened in 1891. Larkspur incorporated in 1908.Larkspur's Downtown Historic District, known also as Old Downtown Larkspur, is a historic district that was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. The restored Art Deco Lark Theater is part of this downtown district.
In the United States House of Representatives, Larkspur is in California's 2nd congressional district, represented by Democrat Jared Huffman. From 2008 to 2012, Huffman represented Marin County in the California State Assembly.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Larkspur had a population of 11,926. The population density was 3,677.5 people per square mile (1,419.9/km²). The racial makeup of Larkspur was 10,311 (86.5%) White, 186 (1.6%) African American, 26 (0.2%) Native American, 563 (4.7%) Asian, 13 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 343 (2.9%) from other races, and 484 (4.1%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 918 persons (7.7%).
Enroll in the Ideal Phlebotomist School near Larkspur CA
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Larkspur CA.
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