How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Washington VT is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional 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 finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, 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 ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. We will go into more depth later. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Washington VT medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order 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 screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Washington VT labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Washington VT hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, 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 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 variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Washington VT employers look for certification before 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
First, let’s dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be clinical 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 prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Washington VT students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Washington VT in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Vermont? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Vermont or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify 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 typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Washington VT job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to investigate the reputations of any 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 ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Washington VT clinics or hospitals 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 Vermont school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn 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 (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Washington VT medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Washington VT medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s critical to confirm that the final school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Washington VT, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. 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 procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Free Information on Accredited Phlebotomy Classes Washington Vermont
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree 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 assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Free Information on Accredited Phlebotomy Classes and to get more information regarding Free Information on Online Phlebotomy Degree Programs. However, by asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Washington VT.
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