Choosing a Phlebotomist Training Program near West Sacramento California
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near West Sacramento CA is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it’s important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being used 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 accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in West Sacramento CA area labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including West Sacramento CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at West Sacramento CA community and junior colleges, they typically take two 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 completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of West Sacramento 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To start with, let’s dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical option for many West Sacramento CA students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the West Sacramento CA schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to California? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies 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 Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected 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 an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the West Sacramento CA job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to check out 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 placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few West Sacramento CA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the West Sacramento CA training program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with West Sacramento CA health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local West Sacramento medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the West Sacramento CA health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it’s critical to verify that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near West Sacramento CA, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near West Sacramento CA?
West Sacramento, California
West Sacramento (also known as West Sac) is a city in Yolo County, California. Despite the city being contiguous with Sacramento they are both separated by the Sacramento River which also separates Sacramento and Yolo counties. It is a fast-growing community; the population was 48,744 at the 2010 census, up from 31,615 at the 2000 census. The traditional industrial center of the region since the Gold Rush era, West Sacramento is home to a diverse economy and is one of the area's top four employment centers.
West Sacramento is part of the Sacramento–Arden Arcade–Roseville Metropolitan Statistical Area which has a population (2000) of approximately 1,796,857. Major industries to the region include agriculture, government, and transportation.
In 1844, John Schwartz, a Flemish traveler, was the first Euro-American to permanently settle in the area of West Sacramento, which at that time was part of Mexico. He built a shack on the west bank of the Sacramento River six miles (10 km) south of its connection with the American River. John, with the help of his brother George, founded a salmon fishery along the river. In addition to the fishery, they also found the soil to be fertile and began farming and raising livestock. The announcement of the discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill in 1848 brought a multitude of miners to the region. This also coincided with the end of the Mexican-American War.
In 1846, a man named James McDowell bought 600 acres (240 ha) from John Schwartz. With his wife, Margaret, and their three daughters, McDowell settled in the area we know today as Broderick. The McDowell family experienced first-hand the violence that the gold rush era brought with it. In May 1849, James McDowell was shot and killed in a barroom argument that he had supposedly started. With the loss of the sole supporter of the McDowell family, Margaret needed to find a way to provide for her family.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy College near West Sacramento CA
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best school for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in West Sacramento CA.
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Find a Phlebotomy School near you at one of our nationwide Phlebotomy School Locations. Pass the National Exam and becoming a certified Phlebotomist! 701-404-9434