How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist school near Timmonsville SC is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it’s vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?
Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. We will go into more depth later. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Timmonsville SC medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Timmonsville SC labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Timmonsville SC hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education together 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 phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Timmonsville SC employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To begin with, let’s dispel one possible misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Timmonsville SC students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Timmonsville SC as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for South Carolina or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Timmonsville SC job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact some Timmonsville SC hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the South Carolina school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Timmonsville SC health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Timmonsville SC medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Timmonsville SC, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even 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 protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
How To Train As A Phlebotomist Timmonsville South Carolina
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a number of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your final decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in How To Train As A Phlebotomist and to get more information regarding Phlebotomist Programs. However, by addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Timmonsville SC.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in South Carolina
Timmonsville, South Carolina
Timmonsville is a town in Florence County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 2,320 at the 2010 census, an increase of five persons from 2000. It is part of the Florence Metropolitan Statistical Area.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,315 people, 829 households, and 596 families residing in the town. The population density was 896.6 people per square mile (346.4/km²). There were 956 housing units at an average density of 370.2 per square mile (143.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 21.94% White, 77.32% Black (U.S. Census), 0.39% Native American, 0.09% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.09% from other races, and 0.13% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.82% of the population.
There were 829 households out of which 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.9% were married couples living together, 31.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.0% were non-families. 24.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.76 and the average family size was 3.27.
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