How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Smithsburg MD is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it’s important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, many potential students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is a lot 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 selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. We will go into more depth later. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Smithsburg MD medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time 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 may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Smithsburg MD laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Smithsburg MD medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Smithsburg MD employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the primary certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To begin with, let’s dispel one possible misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Smithsburg MD students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Smithsburg MD in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Maryland? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Maryland or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Smithsburg MD job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to check the reputations of all schools 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 online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Smithsburg MD clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Maryland school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Smithsburg MD healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Smithsburg MD medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to verify that the final college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Smithsburg MD, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Phlebotomist Certificate Programs Smithsburg Maryland
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a variety of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomist Certificate Programs and to get more information regarding Phlebotomy Certification Training. However, by addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Smithsburg MD.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Maryland
Smithsburg is a town in Washington County, Maryland, United States. The population was 2,975 at the 2010 census. Smithsburg is close to the former Fort Ritchie army base and just west of the presidential retreat Camp David.
Smithsburg, MD was founded in 1813 by Christopher "Stuffle" Smith. Mr. Smith purchased a plot of land formerly known as "part of Shadrack's Lot." The community's development was directly influenced by factors such as migration paths, the arrival of the railroad, and advances in agricultural technology. By 1923, much of the existing village had been erected. Smithsburg was incorporated in 1846.
Smithsburg acted as a hospital town during the American Civil War in 1862, treating wounded soldiers from nearby battles at South Mountain and Antietam. On July 5, 1863, Confederate General James Stuart and Union General Kilpatrick exchanged artillery fire over Smithsburg. A cannon ball from this exchange can be found lodged in the wall of a building on Water Street. Kilpatrick continued the advance to Boonsboro, Maryland after the engagement on July 6. area.
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