How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Sparks Glencoe MD is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, many students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is far 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 need to be part of your decision process as well. 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 select the right one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Sparks Glencoe MD laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Sparks Glencoe MD medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Sparks Glencoe MD employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing 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 significant component of the curriculum will be practical 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical option for many Sparks Glencoe MD students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked 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 significant if you will be commuting from Sparks Glencoe MD in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Maryland? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Maryland or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Sparks Glencoe MD job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Sparks Glencoe MD clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Maryland school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? 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 clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Sparks Glencoe MD health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Sparks Glencoe MD healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it’s important to verify that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Sparks Glencoe MD, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Attending Phlebotomy Training near Sparks Glencoe Maryland?
If you have decided to enroll in a Phlebotomy School in the Sparks Glencoe MD area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your future school campus.
Sparks is an unincorporated community that is located in Baltimore County, Maryland, USA. It is situated approximately 20 miles (32 km) north of Baltimore, Maryland and is considered to be a suburb of the City of Baltimore. The Gunpowder River runs through Sparks.
The popular North Central Railroad ("NCR") Hike-Bike Trail runs through Sparks along the basin of the Gunpowder Falls (a.k.a. the Gunpowder River). The town's ZIP Code is 21152 and it is frequently accessed at Exit 24, Belfast Road, along Interstate 83, an Interstate Highway that runs from Baltimore, Maryland to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Although Sparks is unincorporated and has no official town limits, the area that is usually considered to constitute Sparks runs from several miles west of I-83 to Carroll Road to the East, and from north of Hunt Valley/Cockeysville along York Road and I-83 to Hereford, Maryland. According to the 2010 US Census, 5,094 people live in the Sparks area. Glencoe, Maryland is a smaller community that is largely surrounded by Sparks and the area is sometimes collectively known as "Sparks Glencoe, Maryland."
In 1835, the Baltimore and Susquehanna Railroad constructed a track through Baltimore County which included a siding and switch near a large tract of land owned by the Sparks family. Railroad officials gave the name Sparks to the switch, and soon area residents began to refer to the location as "Sparks' Switch." Abraham Lincoln's body was carried through Sparks on the Baltimore and Susquehanna Railroad from Washington, D.C. on its way to burial in Illinois following his assassination in 1865.
Select the Ideal Phlebotomist School near Sparks Glencoe MD
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a variety of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. You originally came to this website due to an interest in 3 Day Phlebotomy Course. However, by asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Sparks Glencoe MD.
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