Choosing a Phlebotomist School near Oakland California
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Oakland CA is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out to be able 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. Some Oakland CA phlebotomists in fact work in laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Oakland CA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training in Oakland CA, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To start with, let’s dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved Oakland CA healthcare facility or an on-campus lab|an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility}. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for many students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school 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 learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, 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 California school is significant as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the Oakland CA programs you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example 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 superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered 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 colleges in Oakland CA. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist 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 any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with several Oakland CA area hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the California school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact the California regulator or the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any Oakland CA phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the California schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Oakland CA medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Oakland CA health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s important to verify that the final school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Oakland CA, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?When prepping to interview for a Phlebotomist position, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. One of the things that recruiters frequently ask Phlebotomist candidates is "What made you decide on Phlebotomy as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming Phlebotomist, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to Phlebotomy, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you should ready a number of strategies about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an outstanding Phlebotomist and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down some concepts and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Program near Oakland CA
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Oakland CA.
Learn About Oakland California
Oakland is the largest city and the county seat of Alameda County, California, United States. A major West Coast port city, Oakland is the largest city in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, the third largest city overall in the San Francisco Bay Area, the eighth most populated city in California, and the 45th largest city in the United States, with a population of 419,267 as of 2015[update]. It serves as a trade center for the San Francisco Bay Area; its Port of Oakland is the busiest port in the San Francisco Bay, the entirety of Northern California, and the fifth busiest in the United States of America. The city was incorporated in 1852.
Oakland's territory covers what was once a mosaic of California coastal terrace prairie, oak woodland, and north coastal scrub. Its land served as a rich resource when its hillside oak and redwood timber were logged to build San Francisco, and Oakland's fertile flatland soils helped it become a prolific agricultural region. In the late 1860s, Oakland was selected as the western terminal of the Transcontinental Railroad. Following the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, many San Francisco citizens moved to Oakland, enlarging the city's population, increasing its housing stock and improving its infrastructure. This is also the time when plague cases were discovered in Oakland and the East Bay. It continued to grow in the 20th century with its busy port, shipyards, and a thriving automobile manufacturing industry.
Oakland is known for its sustainability practices, including a top-ranking for usage of electricity from renewable resources. Oakland is also known for its history of political activism, as well as its professional sports franchises (such as the Oakland Raiders, Oakland Athletics and the Golden State Warriors) and major corporations, which include health care, dot-com companies, and manufacturers of household products.
The earliest known inhabitants were the Huchiun Indians, who lived there for thousands of years. The Huchiun belonged to a linguistic grouping later called the Ohlone (a Miwok word meaning "western people"). In Oakland, they were concentrated around Lake Merritt and Temescal Creek, a stream that enters the San Francisco Bay at Emeryville.
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