FAQ

Our Motto
Building careers for the future.

We are here to answer your questions

Is financial aid available?

Financial Aid is available for the Lab Assistant/Phlebotomy program, click here for more information.

CIMS accept payments through private student loans and third party payees (Workforce Connection, Department of Rehabilitation, Proteus, etc.)

CIMS also offers payment plans.

How candidates will be chosen?

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.

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

TWO of the major difference between the programs are the following:
Lab Assistant Program: Total training hours are 632. Graduates are eligible to sit for both the national phlebotomy and lab assistant exam.
Phlebotomy Technician Program: Total training hours are 136. Graduates are eligible to sit for the national phlebotomy exam.

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

What is a Lab Assistant?

Lab assistants do a variety of what’s called “pre-analytical” functions. Some examples are venipuncture, receiving and labeling specimens, verifying test orders, entering patient and test information into a database, keeping track of lab supply inventory, preparing specimens in various ways. This could include inoculating and streaking out culture dishes, separating serum from blood samples, preparing slides, 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. Lab assistants can also perform some lesser complexity testing as allowed by regulations. They also may perform administrative tasks such as answering telephone calls and keeping records. LA’s usually work in support of the pathologists, medical laboratory technologists or clinical laboratory scientist.

A Lab Assistance duties vary depending on the location of employment.

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.

How are clinicals assigned?

Clinical assignments are decided by lottery.

Where are externships located?

CIMS has clinical sites through out the San Joaquin Valley. Please go to our catalog for a list of locations.
Depending on the program, students may be required to travel several hours to clinical sites.

All students must be prepared and willing to commit themselves to any travel time required to achieve the educational goals of the program. Students may be required to rotate between clinical sites during their clinical education to ensure all students receive equitable high quality clinical education during their training.

Hours of Externship/Clinical Rotation

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

Note: You must schedule work and other class times around clinical rotations.

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.
Rotations may take up to 183 days for assignment. Rounds are chosen by a lottery system.

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 2026, 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. www.bls.gov

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 job placement.

What are the most recent Graduation and Placement Rates?

Please refer to program School Performance Fact Sheets for more information.

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