How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes
Picking the right phlebotomist training near Washington DC is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it’s vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Washington DC labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Washington DC medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Washington DC employers require certification before hiring 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To begin with, let’s dispel one potential misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Washington DC students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college 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 obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Washington DC as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to District of Columbia? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for District of Columbia or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality 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 agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Washington DC job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Washington DC hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the District of Columbia school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 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 furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Washington DC healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at provide 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 a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Washington DC healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to confirm that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Washington DC, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain 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 as a result of emergencies or illness.
Attending Phlebotomy Training near Washington District of Columbia?
If you have decided to enroll in a Phlebotomy School in the Washington DC area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your future school campus.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, first President of the United States and Founding Father. Washington is the principal city of the Washington metropolitan area, which has a population of 6,131,977. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, the city is an important world political capital. Washington is one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million annual tourists.
The signing of the Residence Act on July 16, 1790, approved the creation of a capital district located along the Potomac River on the country's East Coast. The U.S. Constitution provided for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Congress and the District is therefore not a part of any state. The states of Maryland and Virginia each donated land to form the federal district, which included the pre-existing settlements of Georgetown and Alexandria. Named in honor of President George Washington, the City of Washington was founded in 1791 to serve as the new national capital. In 1846, Congress returned the land originally ceded by Virginia; in 1871, it created a single municipal government for the remaining portion of the District.
Washington had an estimated population of 693,972 as of July 2017[update], making it the 20th largest American city by population. Commuters from the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs raise the city's daytime population to more than one million during the workweek. The Washington metropolitan area, of which the District is the principal city, has a population of over 6 million, the sixth-largest metropolitan statistical area in the country.
Enroll in the Ideal Phlebotomist Program near Washington DC
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your final choice. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Blood Taking Course. However, by addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Washington DC.
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