Selecting a Phlebotomy School near Santa Maria California
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Santa Maria CA is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it’s necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, most potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of Santa Maria CA phlebotomists in fact work in labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Santa Maria CA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing 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 drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training in Santa Maria CA, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible 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 get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To begin with, let’s resolve one likely misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved Santa Maria CA healthcare facility or an on-campus lab|an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility}. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical option for some students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked 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 California college is relevant in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the Santa Maria CA programs you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many 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 offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs in Santa Maria CA. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Santa Maria CA area clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, contact the California regulator or the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any Santa Maria CA phlebotomist 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 might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the California schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Santa Maria CA health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Santa Maria CA health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s important to verify that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Santa Maria CA, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Phlebotomist?When preparing to interview for a Phlebotomy Tech job, it's helpful to consider questions you could be asked. Among the things that hiring managers frequently ask Phlebotomy Tech candidates is "What compelled you to decide on Phlebotomy as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming Phlebotomy Tech, but also what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to Phlebotomy, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to organize some strategies about how you would like to address them. Since there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an outstanding Phlebotomist and the ideal choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Course near Santa Maria CA
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Santa Maria CA.
Learn About Santa Maria California
Santa Maria, California
Santa Maria is a city near the Southern California coast in Santa Barbara County. It is approximately 150 miles (240 km) northwest of Downtown Los Angeles. Its estimated 2016 population was 106,290, making it the most populous city in the county and the Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA Metro Area. The city is notable for its wine industry and Santa Maria-style barbecue. Sunset magazine called Santa Maria "The West's Best BBQ Town".
The Santa Maria Valley, stretching from the Santa Lucia Mountains toward the Pacific Ocean, was the homeland of the Chumash people for several thousand years. The Native Americans made their homes on the slopes of the surrounding hills among the oaks, on the banks of the Santa Maria River among the sycamores, and along the coast. They had unique plank-built boats, called Tomol, which they used for ocean fishing.
In 1769, the Portolá Expedition passed through the Santa Maria Valley during the first Spanish land exploration up the coast of Las Californias Province. Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa was established just north of the valley in 1772, and Mission La Purísima Concepción was established near present-day Lompoc in 1787. Rather than rich soil, white settlers were attracted here by the possibility of free land. In 1821, after the Mexican War of Independence, the mission lands in Santa Maria Valley were made available for private ownership under a Mexican land grant called Rancho Punta de Laguna. At the end of the Mexican War in 1848, California was ceded to the United States.
In the late 19th century, after California gained statehood in 1850, the area's rich soil attracted farmers and other settlers. By the end of the century, the Santa Maria River Valley had become one of the most productive agricultural areas in the state. Agriculture is still a key component of the economy for the city and the entire region.
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