How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Training Course
Picking the ideal phlebotomist school near Williamson WV is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, most students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend classes online 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 much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
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 chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Williamson WV medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Williamson WV labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Williamson WV medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, most Williamson WV employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the main 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps 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 likely mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the course of study will be clinical 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 in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many Williamson WV students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive 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 right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Williamson WV as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the programs 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 phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for West Virginia or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Williamson WV job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Williamson WV clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the West Virginia school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Williamson WV healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at 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 as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Williamson WV health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s crucial to verify that the final college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Williamson WV, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Training Phlebotomy Williamson West Virginia
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your final decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Training Phlebotomy and to get more information regarding Phlebotomy College. However, by asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Williamson WV.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in West Virginia
Williamson, West Virginia
Williamson is a city in Mingo County, West Virginia, United States, along the Tug Fork River. The population was 3,191 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Mingo County, and is the county's largest and most populous city. Williamson is home to Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. The Tug Fork River separates Williamson from South Williamson, Kentucky.
Williamson is the site of a large rail yard built by the former Norfolk and Western Railroad (now Norfolk Southern Railway), which was built to service the many coal mines of the region. The city is protected by a floodwall, completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1991 in response to devastating floods along the Tug Fork River in 1977 and again in 1984. The wall incorporates floodgates along major access points which, when locked, form a solid barrier against floodwaters. There have only been two uses of the gates thus far: the first occurring in 2002 during a major flood in the region, and the second occurring in 2003, when only two lower lying gates were closed in anticipation of rising water levels.
Williamson was incorporated in 1892. Most historians believe that Williamson was named in honor of Wallace J. Williamson. He owned the land where Williamson now stands, earned a fortune in real estate investments in the area, and founded the city's first bank and its first hotel. Others claim that the city was named for Wallace's father, Benjamin F. Williamson. He owned most of the land in the region before dividing it among his sons.