How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist School
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near West Richland WA is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, many prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We’ll talk more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing 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 conversation about online schools.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?
Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist 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 decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other West Richland WA medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about 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 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it 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 may be the right job for you.
Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork must be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in West Richland WA laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including West Richland WA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education along 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, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, many West Richland WA employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations 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 phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To begin with, let’s resolve one potential misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for some West Richland WA students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy 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 may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from West Richland WA in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed 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 phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Washington or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the West Richland WA job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact several West Richland WA 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 Washington school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local West Richland WA medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate 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 a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the West Richland WA medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s crucial to verify that the final program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near West Richland WA, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical 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.
Online Schools For Phlebotomy Certification West Richland Washington
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Online Schools For Phlebotomy Certification and to get more information regarding Phlebotomy Degree Programs. However, by asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in West Richland WA.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Washington
West Richland, Washington
West Richland is a 22-square-mile (57 km2) city in Benton County, Washington, United States. The population was 11,811 at the 2010 census. The city is located within the Tri-Cities metropolitan area, which is centered around the cities of Richland, Kennewick, and Pasco (the Tri-Cities).
The original people of the region were the Chemnapum Indians (closely related to the Wanapum tribe), living near the mouth of the Yakima River. Lewis and Clark passed through the area in 1805, and an expedition of the Army Corps of Topographical Engineers headed by Robert E Johnson mapped the Yakima Valley in 1841.
In 1853, a road was authorized by Congress to pass through the Yakima valley, and passed through present-day West Richland - but settlement did not really begin until the late 1870s. The first schoolhouse was built in 1896 on the Van Horn Property just south of what is now Van Giesen Street. Benton County was created in 1905, Richland was incorporated in 1906, and the West Richland area was known as 'Lower Yakima'.
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