How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist School
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician school near Zachary LA is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it’s vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, most prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish 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 address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. We will go into more depth later. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Zachary LA medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Job 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. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Zachary LA laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Zachary LA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Zachary LA employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key certifying agencies 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, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
First, let’s dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical option for many Zachary LA students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Zachary LA as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns 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 final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Louisiana or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Zachary LA job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Zachary LA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Louisiana school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish 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 expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Zachary LA medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Zachary LA medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s critical to confirm that the final program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Zachary LA, make certain they are offered 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 attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Phlebotomy Technician Program Zachary Louisiana
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomy Technician Program and to get more information regarding Phlebotomy Certificate Program. However, by asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Zachary LA.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Louisiana
Zachary is a city in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, United States. It lies 16 miles (26 km) north of the city of Baton Rouge, and had a population of 14,960 at the 2010 census, up from 11,275 in 2000.
Much of the land which the city now occupies was part of a 160-acre (65 ha) farm owned by Darel Zachary (1827-1907). In the 1880s, Zachary sold his land to the Illinois Central Railroad, who built a track and a depot on it. A village quickly grew up around the depot, which came to be called "Zachary" after the original farmer. Zachary's first post office was opened in 1885, and it was incorporated as a city on August 2, 1889, with Thomas Edward McHugh as its first mayor. A fire devastated the city in 1903, supposedly caused by a greengrocer trying to flame-ripen his bananas. The "historic village" at the center of the city is composed of buildings which either survived the fire, or were built shortly after it, the oldest (excluding the depot) being the 1898 Allison House. The first census was carried out in 1914 and reported just 419 residents. Zachary was the first city in Louisiana since the Reconstruction Era to elect a Republican as mayor, Jack Louis Breaux.
Zachary is located in northern East Baton Rouge Parish. It is bordered to the north by the city of Slaughter, to the east by Central, and to the south by Baker. Louisiana Highway 19 passes through the city, leading north 5 miles (8 km) to the center of Slaughter and south 9 miles (14 km) to U.S. Route 61 in the northern part of Baton Rouge.
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