How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Technician School
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Polson MT is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, many prospective 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 look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The basic answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. We will provide more details later. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Polson MT medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, 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 interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Polson MT labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Polson MT hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with 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 provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Polson MT employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the principal certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To begin with, let’s resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out 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-practical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Polson MT students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Polson MT in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Montana or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Polson MT job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s important to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Polson MT hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Montana school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact 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 furnish no less than 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 Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Polson MT medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Polson MT medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to make sure that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Polson MT, 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. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Phlebotomist Schools Polson Montana
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality 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 provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomist Schools and to get more information regarding Phlebotomy Certification Online Programs. However, by asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Polson MT.
Other Bloody Wonderful Montana Locations
Polson is a city in Lake County, Montana, United States, on the southern shore of Flathead Lake. It is also on the Flathead Indian Reservation. The population was 4,488 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Lake County. The city was named after pioneer rancher David Polson.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.17 square miles (10.80 km2), of which, 4.14 square miles (10.72 km2) is land and 0.03 square miles (0.08 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 4,488 people, 1,991 households, and 1,150 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,084.1 inhabitants per square mile (418.6/km2). There were 2,506 housing units at an average density of 605.3 per square mile (233.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 74.7% White, 0.2% African American, 15.7% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.6% from other races, and 8.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.4% of the population.