How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist School
Choosing the right phlebotomist school near Westbrook MN is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We’ll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection 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 select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to 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 OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Westbrook MN medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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 actually work in Westbrook MN laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Westbrook MN hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Westbrook MN employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the key 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 phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To start with, let’s dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical option for many Westbrook MN students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Westbrook MN in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Minnesota or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College 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 benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Westbrook MN job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some Westbrook MN clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Minnesota school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Westbrook MN healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Westbrook MN healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s crucial to confirm that the final college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Westbrook MN, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Phlebotomy College Westbrook Minnesota
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college before making your final choice. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomy College and to get more information regarding Blood Drawing Classes. However, by asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Westbrook MN.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Minnesota
As of the census of 2010, there were 739 people, 345 households, and 192 families residing in the city. The population density was 947.4 inhabitants per square mile (365.8/km2). There were 418 housing units at an average density of 535.9 per square mile (206.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.7% White, 0.4% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.7% from other races, and 0.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.2% of the population.
There were 345 households of which 18.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.7% were married couples living together, 5.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 44.3% were non-families. 40.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 23.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.04 and the average family size was 2.71.
The median age in the city was 54 years. 18.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 4.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 17.6% were from 25 to 44; 25% were from 45 to 64; and 33.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 44.2% male and 55.8% female.