How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Training Program
Picking the ideal phlebotomist school near Woodstock VA is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most potential students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll talk more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The basic definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. We will go into more depth later. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Woodstock VA medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time 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 may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Woodstock VA laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Woodstock VA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind 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 mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, most Woodstock VA employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To start with, let’s resolve one possible misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Woodstock VA students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected 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 school is relevant if you will be commuting from Woodstock VA in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Virginia or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable 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 Woodstock VA job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Woodstock VA clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Virginia school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Woodstock VA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Woodstock VA health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it’s critical to make sure that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Woodstock VA, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Phlebotomy Colleges Woodstock Virginia
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each college prior to making your final choice. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomy Colleges and to get more information regarding Drawing Blood Classes. However, by addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Woodstock VA.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Virginia
The town was established by charter in March 1761 as a part of what was then Frederick County. It was originally formed by a land grant from Lord Fairfax, and founded as Muellerstadt (Miller Town) in 1752 after founder Jacob Miller. The town's charter was sponsored by George Washington in Virginia's House of Burgesses. Woodstock has been the County Seat of Shenandoah County, since the County's formation in 1772.
In the late 1770s, John Muhlenberg was pastor at a Lutheran church located in the heart of Woodstock. As a famous story of Muhlenberg has it, at conclusion of his farewell sermon on January 21, 1776, Muhlenberg threw off his clerical robes to reveal an officer's uniform beneath and shouted, "there is a time to pray and a time to fight..." With that declaration, the story says he then called for volunteers to join the 8th Virginia Regiment under his command.
In 1795, the courthouse, designed by Thomas Jefferson, was built using native limestone. The courthouse, located on Main Street, is the oldest courthouse still in use west of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
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