How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near Wytheville VA is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it’s necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most prospective students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk more about online classes 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 finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The basic definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. We will provide more details later. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Wytheville VA medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing 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 information. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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 Wytheville VA laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Wytheville VA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as 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 exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Wytheville VA employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the main 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let’s dispel one possible misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many Wytheville VA students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Wytheville VA in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Virginia or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from 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 offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Wytheville VA job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Wytheville VA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Virginia school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Wytheville VA health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Wytheville VA health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s crucial to confirm that the final program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Wytheville VA, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
How To Become A Phlebotomist Wytheville Virginia
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each program before making your final selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in How To Become A Phlebotomist and to get more information regarding Phlebotomist School Cost. However, by asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Wytheville VA.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Virginia
Wytheville (/ˈwɪθvɪl/) is a town in, and the county seat of, Wythe County, in western Virginia, United States. It is named after George Wythe, a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence, and mentor to Thomas Jefferson. Wytheville's population was 8,211 at the 2010 census. Interstate Highways 77 and 81 were constructed to intersect at the town, long a crossroads for travelers.
During the American Civil War, Wytheville had a strategic importance. It was attacked in 1863 (Toland's Raid) and 1865 (Stoneman's 1865 Raid). The town is the birthplace of Edith Bolling Wilson, second wife of President Woodrow Wilson.
Wythe County was created in 1789 and named for George Wythe, the "father of American Jurisprudence" and signer of the Declaration of Independence. In May 1790, Chris Simmerman donated 90 acres, along with John Davis's 10 acres, to establish a town and county seat. Robert Adams completed a town survey in November of that year, dividing the area into half-acre lots. The town did not have an official name yet, but was generally known as Wythe Court House.