Choosing a Phlebotomy Training Program near Westlake Village California
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Westlake Village CA is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We’ll review 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 locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation 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 researching to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Westlake Village CA area laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Westlake Village CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at Westlake Village CA junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in most states, many Westlake Village CA employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the principal 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
First, let’s resolve one likely misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many Westlake Village CA students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the Westlake Village CA programs you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. 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 working and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee 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 earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Westlake Village CA job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In many 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 imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. 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 online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact some Westlake Village CA clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough 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 classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the Westlake Village CA training program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with Westlake Village CA medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Westlake Village health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Westlake Village CA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s important to verify that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Westlake Village CA, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And 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 should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Westlake Village CA?
Westlake Village, California
Westlake Village is a city in Los Angeles County on its western border with Ventura County. The population was estimated to be at 8,473 in 2014, up from 8,368 at the 2000 census. The headquarters of the Dole Food Company is also located in Westlake Village.
The original community was known simply as "Westlake". Roughly two-thirds of it was annexed by the city of Thousand Oaks in two portions, in 1968 and 1972. In 1981, the remaining third eventually incorporated as the City of Westlake Village.
Chumash Indians were the first to settle in what is now Westlake Village. It was home to a Chumash settlement known as Hipuk. About 3,000 years ago, Chumash Indians moved into the region and lived by hunting rabbits and other game, and gathering grains and acorns. On-going excavations, archaeological sites, and polychrome rock paintings in the area provide a glimpse into the social and economic complexity of the ancient Chumash world.
In January, 1770, the first Europeans came to the area. Captain Gaspar de Portolà's party of Spanish explorers and missionaries traveled through the area from west to east, camping one night near a Chumash village, believed to be the site of present-day Westlake Village. Father Juan Crespí, chaplain and diarist of the expedition, wrote: "We are on a plain of considerable extent and much beauty, forested on all parts by live oaks and oak trees, with much pasturage and water." Crespi named the place El triunfo del Dulcísimo Nombre de Jesús (in English: The Triumph of the Sweetest Name of Jesus) to a camping place by a creek – today's Triunfo Canyon Road begins between Thousand Oaks and Westlake Village (see Conejo Valley). Later Spanish travelers also used this route, making it part of El Camino Real (today's U.S. Route 101).
Find the Ideal Phlebotomy College near Westlake Village CA
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary slightly across the country as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each program before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Westlake Village CA.
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