How to Find the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes
Selecting the right phlebotomy training near Wilkinson WV is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it’s necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to 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 address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. We will go into more depth later. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Wilkinson WV medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it 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 perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact so 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 properly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Wilkinson WV labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Wilkinson WV hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive 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, many Wilkinson WV employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the principal certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To begin with, let’s dispel one likely misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component 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. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Wilkinson WV students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Wilkinson WV in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to West Virginia? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for West Virginia or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 school aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Wilkinson WV job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Wilkinson WV hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the West Virginia school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total 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 classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Wilkinson WV medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Wilkinson WV health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s critical to confirm that the final college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Wilkinson WV, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, 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 clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Phlebotomy Training Requirements Wilkinson West Virginia
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomy Training Requirements and to get more information regarding Phlebotomist Schools. However, by addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Wilkinson WV.
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