How to Select the Right Phlebotomist School
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician training near Stafford KS is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, most students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk 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 finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Stafford KS laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Stafford KS hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with 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, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, most Stafford KS employers look for certification prior to 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let’s dispel one possible misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for some Stafford KS students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
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 may have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Stafford KS in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Stafford KS job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s important to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Stafford KS hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Kansas school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out 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 at least 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 comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Stafford KS medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Stafford KS medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it’s critical to make sure that the final program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Stafford KS, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Attending Phlebotomy Training near Stafford Kansas?
If you have decided to enroll in a Phlebotomy School in the Stafford KS area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your future school campus.
Stafford was founded in 1878. Like Stafford County, the city was named for Lewis Stafford, a casualty in the Civil War. Stafford was destroyed by a tornado in 1882, and rebuilt within a year. Stafford was incorporated as a city in 1885.
Stafford is located at 37°57′46″N 98°36′4″W / 37.96278°N 98.60111°W / 37.96278; -98.60111 (37.962789, -98.600996). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.92 square miles (2.38 km2), all of it land. It is approximately ninety-two miles northwest of Wichita on U.S. Route 50.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,042 people, 487 households, and 262 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,132.6 inhabitants per square mile (437.3/km2). There were 622 housing units at an average density of 676.1 per square mile (261.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.3% White, 0.8% African American, 1.7% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 1.5% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.9% of the population.
Find the Right Phlebotomist College near Stafford KS
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school before making your final decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in How To Become A Phlebotomy Technician. However, by addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Stafford KS.
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