How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Woodville VA is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, most students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll talk more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, 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 address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion 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 phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. We will go into more depth later. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Woodville VA medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around nervous people who hate 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, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Woodville VA laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Woodville VA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Woodville VA employers look for certification before 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To begin with, let’s resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Woodville VA students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Woodville VA as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Virginia? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Virginia or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, 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 agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Woodville VA job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates 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 even check with several Woodville VA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Virginia school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Woodville VA health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Woodville VA healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s critical to make sure that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Woodville VA, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Phlebotomy Associates Degree Woodville Virginia
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomy Associates Degree and to get more information regarding Online Phlebotomy Schools. However, by asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Woodville VA.
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