How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist School
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Vicksburg MS is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it’s necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Vicksburg MS labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Vicksburg MS medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require two 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. Although not required in most states, most Vicksburg MS employers look for 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let’s resolve one likely misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial 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 prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Vicksburg MS students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Vicksburg MS in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Mississippi? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Mississippi or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, 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. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Vicksburg MS job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Vicksburg MS clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Mississippi school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount 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 clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Vicksburg MS healthcare 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 help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage 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 along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Vicksburg MS healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s critical to make sure that the final college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Vicksburg MS, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Attending Phlebotomy Training near Vicksburg Mississippi?
If you have decided to enroll in a Phlebotomy School in the Vicksburg MS area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your future school campus.
Vicksburg is the only city in, and county seat of Warren County, Mississippi, United States. It is located 234 miles (377 km) northwest of New Orleans at the confluence of the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers, and 40 miles (64 km) due west of Jackson, the state capital. It is located on the east bank of the Mississippi River across from the state of Louisiana.
The city has increased in population since 1900, when 14,834 people lived here. The population was 26,407 at the 2000 census. In 2010, it was designated as the principal city of a Micropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) with a total population of 49,644. This MSA includes all of Warren County.
The area which is now Vicksburg was long occupied by the Natchez Native Americans as part of their historical territory along the Mississippi. The Natchez spoke a language isolate not related to the Muskogean languages of the other major tribes in the area. Before the Natchez, other indigenous cultures had occupied this strategic area for thousands of years.
Find the Ideal Phlebotomy School near Vicksburg MS
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Education Needed To Be A Phlebotomist. However, by asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Vicksburg MS.
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