How to Find the Best Phlebotomy School
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Wilcoe WV is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it’s vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor 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 you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should 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 continue our discussion about online training.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist 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 selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Wilcoe WV medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required 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.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork must be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Wilcoe WV labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Wilcoe WV medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree 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 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 include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, many Wilcoe WV employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
First, let’s dispel one possible misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for many Wilcoe WV students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Wilcoe WV as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe 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 program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for West Virginia or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many 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 qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Wilcoe WV job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Wilcoe WV hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the West Virginia school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, check with 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Wilcoe WV healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Wilcoe WV medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s crucial to verify that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Wilcoe WV, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Accredited Online Phlebotomy Schools Wilcoe West Virginia
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college before making your final decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Accredited Online Phlebotomy Schools and to get more information regarding Phlebotomy Class. However, by asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Wilcoe WV.
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