How to Find the Right Phlebotomy School
Picking the ideal phlebotomist school near Westlake LA is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, most students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal 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.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?
First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The basic answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. We will provide more details later. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Westlake LA medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Some phlebotomists actually work in Westlake LA laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Westlake LA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing 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 collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Westlake LA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
First, let’s dispel one potential misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Westlake LA students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Westlake LA as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Louisiana or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Westlake LA job market.
What is the College’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 quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Westlake LA 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 contact the Louisiana school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Westlake LA health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Westlake LA medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s crucial to verify that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Westlake LA, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical 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.
Phlebotomy Training Program Westlake Louisiana
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomy Training Program and to get more information regarding Phlebotomist School How Long. However, by asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Westlake LA.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Louisiana
Westlake is a city in Calcasieu Parish, in western Louisiana, United States, and is part of the Lake Charles Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 4,568 at the 2010 census. Westlake was incorporated in 1945.
Westlake is located in east-central Calcasieu Parish at 30°14′54″N 93°15′33″W / 30.24833°N 93.25917°W / 30.24833; -93.25917 (30.248455, -93.259047), on the west bank of the Calcasieu River, just north of that river's entry into the water body of Lake Charles. The city of Lake Charles borders Westlake across the river, connected via the Interstate 10 bridge.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Westlake has a total area of 3.71 square miles (9.60 km2), of which 3.65 square miles (9.46 km2) is land and 0.05 square miles (0.14 km2), or 1.49%, is water.
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