How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Tech School
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Winona MS is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, many potential students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. We will provide more details later. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Winona MS medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice 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 24 hours, you will probably be expected 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 right job for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Winona MS labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Winona MS medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood 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 working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, many Winona MS employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the principal 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 phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let’s dispel one potential misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Winona MS students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Winona MS in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are an important part of the process 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 programs you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Mississippi or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Winona MS job market.
What is the School’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 quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Winona MS hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Mississippi school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? 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 looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Winona MS health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs 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 jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Winona MS healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to verify that the final school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Winona MS, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
How to Choose Top Phlebotomy Degree Courses Winona Mississippi
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in How to Choose Top Phlebotomy Degree Courses and to get more information regarding How to Choose Evening Phlebotomy Training. However, by addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Winona MS.
Other Bloody Wonderful Mississippi Locations
Winona is a city in Montgomery County, Mississippi. The population was 5,482 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Montgomery County. Winona is known in the local area as "The Crossroads of North Mississippi" due to its central location at the intersection of U.S. Interstate 55 and U.S. Highways 51 and 82.
Middleton, Mississippi was a town that developed in the 19th century two miles west of Winona's site. Some locals consider it the predecessor to Winona. After the railroad was built to the east, development shifted to what became Winona and bypassed Middleton.
The first European-American settler in the area, which was originally part of Carroll County, was Colonel O.J. Moore, who arrived from Virginia in 1848. He agreed to the railroad being constructed through his property, and a station was built in 1860 near his plantation home. As a result of the railroad line and station being built here rather than Middleton, Winona was founded and began to grow. The railroad attracted business, which developed around the station as Moore sold off some property. Winona was incorporated as a town on May 2, 1861. Settlers were attracted because of the railroad access and Winona became a busy trading town.