How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Training Program
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near Deer Lodge MT is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many potential students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. We will provide more details later. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Deer Lodge MT medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may 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 may be the right job for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Deer Lodge MT laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Deer Lodge MT hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing 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 collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Deer Lodge MT employers look for certification prior to employing 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let’s dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical option for many Deer Lodge MT students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Deer Lodge MT in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Montana or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Deer Lodge MT job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Deer Lodge MT clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Montana school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Deer Lodge MT healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Deer Lodge MT medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s critical to verify that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Deer Lodge MT, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Training For Phlebotomist Deer Lodge Montana
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school before making your final decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Training For Phlebotomist and to get more information regarding Classes For Drawing Blood. However, by asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Deer Lodge MT.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Montana
Deer Lodge, Montana
Deer Lodge is an incorporated city in and the county seat of Powell County, Montana, in the United States. The population was 3,111 at the 2010 census. The city is perhaps best known as the home of the Montana State Prison, a major local employer. The Montana State Hospital in Warm Springs, and former state tuberculosis sanitarium in nearby Galen are the result of the power the western part of the state held over Montana at statehood due to the copper and mineral wealth in that area. Deer Lodge was also once an important railroad town, serving as a division headquarters for the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad ("the Milwaukee Road") before the railroad's local abandonment in 1980.
The current Montana State Prison occupies a campus 3.5 miles (5.6 km) west of town. The former prison site, at the south end of Deer Lodge's Main Street, is now the Old Prison Museum. In addition to a former cellblock building, the museum complex includes a theater, antique and automobile museums, and a former Milwaukee Road "Little Joe" electric locomotive.
Deer Lodge is also the location of Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site, dedicated to the interpretation of the frontier cattle ranching era. This site was the home of Conrad Kohrs, one of the famous "Cattle Kings" of Montana whose land holdings once stretched over a million acres (4,000 km2) of Montana, Wyoming, and Alberta, Canada. The Grant-Kohrs ranch was built in 1862 by Johnny Grant, a Scottish/French/Metis fur-trader and trapper who encouraged his people to settle in Deer Lodge because of its pleasant climate and large areas of bunch grass prairie, ideal for raising cattle and horses. The city's name derives from a geological formation known as Warm Springs Mound which contained natural saline that made for a natural salt lick for the local deer population, the protected valley in which Deer Lodge is located was where most of the local wildlife would winter as the temperatures lowered in the high country.