How to Find the Best Phlebotomist Training Program
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Westminster MD is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, many students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We’ll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
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Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?
First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. We will go into more depth later. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Westminster MD medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood 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 can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Westminster MD laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Westminster MD hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Westminster MD employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
First, let’s resolve one potential misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Westminster MD students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind 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 important if you will be commuting from Westminster MD as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing 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 call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Maryland or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Westminster MD job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Westminster MD clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Maryland school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, contact 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 looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Westminster MD healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Westminster MD medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s crucial to verify that the final college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Westminster MD, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Where to Find Weekend Phlebotomy Degree Programs Near Me Westminster Maryland
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Where to Find Weekend Phlebotomy Degree Programs Near Me and to get more information regarding Free Information on Accredited Phlebotomy Degree Classes Near Me. However, by addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Westminster MD.
Other Bloody Wonderful Maryland Locations
Westminster is a city in northern Maryland, United States. A suburb of Baltimore, it is the seat of Carroll County. The city's population was 18,590 at the 2010 census. Westminster is an outlying community within the Baltimore-Towson, MD MSA, which is part of a greater Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, DC-MD-VA-WV CSA.
William Winchester (1706-1790) purchased approximately 167 acres of land called White's Level in 1754 which became known as the city of Winchester. The Maryland General Assembly later changed the name of the town to Westminster to avoid confusion with Winchester, the seat of nearby Frederick County, Virginia.
On June 28, 1863, the cavalry skirmish known as Corbit's Charge was fought in the streets of Westminster, when two companies of Delaware cavalry attacked a much larger Confederate force under General J.E.B. Stuart, during the Gettysburg Campaign.
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