How to Select the Right Phlebotomist School
Choosing the right phlebotomist school near West Monroe LA is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it’s necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables 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 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 resume our conversation about online classes.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. We will provide more details later. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other West Monroe LA medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in West Monroe LA laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including West Monroe LA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest 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 include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in most states, a number of West Monroe LA employers require certification before employing technicians. Some 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
First, let’s dispel one possible misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for some West Monroe LA students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected 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 school is relevant if you will be commuting from West Monroe LA as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Louisiana? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Louisiana or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the West Monroe LA job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few West Monroe 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 contact the Louisiana school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local West Monroe LA medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the West Monroe LA healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s important to make sure that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near West Monroe LA, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
How To Be A Phlebotomist West Monroe Louisiana
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. You originally came to this website due to an interest in How To Be A Phlebotomist and to get more information regarding Schools For Phlebotomist. However, by asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in West Monroe LA.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Louisiana
West Monroe, Louisiana
West Monroe is a city in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana, United States. It is situated on the Ouachita River, across from the neighboring city of Monroe. The two cities are often referred to as the Twin Cities of northeast Louisiana. Its population was 13,065 at the 2010 census and it is part of the Monroe Metropolitan Statistical Area. The mayor is Staci Albritton Mitchell.
Originally laid out in 1837 as Byron by John Campbell at the foot of the ferry landing to Monroe, the town floundered and Campbell went bankrupt. The area was bought by Christopher Dabbs, a doctor from Virginia who submitted the plans for Cotton Port in 1854; it was officially recognized in 1859. It too languished until the arrival of the Vicksburg, Shreveport, & Texas Railroad and the construction of the bridge over the Ouachita. Cotton Port boomed as a river port and rail depot.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.0 square miles (20.6 km²), of which 7.7 square miles (20.0 km²) is land and 0.2 square mile (0.6 km²) (3.14%) is water.
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