Frequently Asked Questions - California Institute of Medical Science

Frequently Asked Questions

We are here to answer your questions

How Candidates Will Be Chosen

Priority is given to applicants in the following order: full payments, amount of down payment along with the order that completed packet is received. Class selection is on a first come basis and may be filled before deadlines if early applicants completely satisfy all enrollment requirements.

Applicants not accepted may reapply during any subsequent application periods.

Candidates must meet all immunization and educational prerequisites at least one week before the first day of class.

What is the major difference between the Phlebotomy Technician and Lab Assistant program?

The major difference between the two programs is the following:
Lab Assistant Program: Graduates can sit for both the national phlebotomy and lab assistant exam. The total program hours are 604 hours.
Phlebotomy Technician Program: Graduates can sit for the national phlebotomy exam. The total program hours are 176 hours.

With both programs you will be eligible to work as a phlebotomist in California.

Will I be able to work as a CLS or MLT once I graduate the lab assistant program?

No! There is a significant amount more of training and education necessary to become a MLT or CLS.

What is a Lab Assistant?

A Lab Assistant combines the duties of a Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT) and a Lab Assistant.

Depending on the level of training, phlebotomists draw blood through venipuncture, skin puncture, or arterial puncture. Lab Assistants duties include; specimen processing, plating and processing microbiology specimens, operating and maintaining semi-automated test equipment. Duties may also include fixing blood/tissue specimens on slides, and using computers to input data.

Depending on the location of employment, a Lab Assistant may perform a phlebotomist duties as well as their own including; collect patient histories, take height & weight and measure vital signs.

How are clinicals assigned?

Clinical assignments are decided by lottery.

Where are clinicals located?

We have clinical sites through out the San Joaquin Valley. Please go to our catalog for locations.

Hours of Externship

Typical hours: Monday – Friday, 8:00AM – 5:00PM. See program information for the exact amount of hours per program. *Shifts vary by site

How long will I have to wait to go to my clinicals?

In groups of four to six the time timeline is as follows:
1st Round – One to four weeks after class ends.
2nd Round – Five to ten weeks after the 1st round.
3rd Round – Five to ten weeks after the 2nd round.

Is financial aid available?

Not at this time, however we accept payments through private student loans and third party payees (Workforce Connection, Governor’s scholarship, AmeriCorps, Department of Rehabilitation, Proteus, etc.)

CIMS also offers payment plans.

Where can I work?

Phlebotomists and Lab Assistants can work in doctor’s offices, hospitals, labs, medical clinics, etc.

Will I be able to find a job when I graduate?

Rapid job growth and excellent job opportunities are expected. Most jobs will continue to be in hospitals, but employment will grow faster in other settings.

Employment of clinical laboratory workers is expected to grow 14 percent between 2006 and 2016, faster than the average for all occupations. The volume of laboratory tests continues to increase with both population growth and the development of new types of tests.

Does CIMS provide job assistance once I graduate?

CIMS provides placement services by networking with Human Resource Departments and supervisors from local hospitals, clinics, and laboratories. Upon request of the facility, CIMS faxes or e-mails resume to potential employers.

CIMS does not guarantee placement in a job.

What are the most recent Graduation and Placement Rates?

Data as reported by CIMS’ national accrediting body’s standards, the Council of Occupational Education (COE) is available upon request.

Non-US transcripts

As of August 15, 2016, AACRAO discontinued its educational transcript evaluation services. Until further notice, LFS will accept educational transcript evaluations completed by “Current Members” of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES), and “Endorsed Members” of the Association of International Credential Evaluators, Inc. (AICE). Evaluations completed before August 15, 2016 will only be accepted if completed by AACRAO. Please use the links to view the “Current” and “Endorsed” members of NACES and AICE.

If you are an applicant whose education and training/experience is from a non-U.S. school, college, university, or clinical laboratory, please make sure that your name is printed in English on all your transcripts and supporting documents and that it matches your name on the application.

Where are you located?

California Institute of Medical Science headquarters is located at 1780 E. Bullard. Fresno, CA 93710

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