Choosing a Phlebotomy Technician School near Westmorland California
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Westmorland CA is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option 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 you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy 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 schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Westmorland CA area labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, including Westmorland CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely 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 environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at Westmorland CA junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Westmorland CA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
First, let’s dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum 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. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Westmorland CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). 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 study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to start 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 mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the Westmorland CA colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional 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 superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Westmorland CA job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin 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 reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with some Westmorland CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out 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 schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the Westmorland CA training program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with Westmorland CA medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Westmorland healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Westmorland CA medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s crucial to verify that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Westmorland CA, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Westmorland CA?
Westmorland (formerly, Westmoreland) is a city in Imperial County, California. Westmorland is located 8.5 miles (14 km) southwest of Calipatria. The population was 2,225 at the 2010 census, up from 2,131 in 2000. It is part of the El Centro Metropolitan Area.
Westmorland is on State Route 86, which was upgraded to a new six-lane highway to reduce its infamous auto accident and fatality risk, while it connects with Brawley, El Centro and Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico.
Westmorland is below sea level and sits behind a number of active faults. Seismic activity has been recorded several times during the 20th century, with tremors occurring in 1907, 1916, 1925, 1940, 1948, 1965 and 1979. The 1987 Superstition Hills event caused serious damage in Westmorland and the Imperial Valley.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Westmorland had a population of 2,225. The population density was 3,769.7 people per square mile (1,455.5/km²). The racial makeup of Westmorland was 1,038 (46.7%) White, 21 (0.9%) African American, 38 (1.7%) Native American, 11 (0.5%) Asian, 0 (0.0%) Pacific Islander, 1,042 (46.8%) from other races, and 75 (3.4%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1,938 persons (87.1%).
Select the Ideal Phlebotomy College near Westmorland CA
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Westmorland CA.
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