How to Select the Right Phlebotomist School
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Superior MT is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it’s necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Superior MT laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Superior MT hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method 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 on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Superior MT employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations 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 phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To begin with, let’s resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for some Superior MT students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Superior MT in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Montana or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose 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 benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Superior MT job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Superior MT hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Montana school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority 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 schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Superior MT medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Superior MT medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s critical to make sure that the final school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Superior MT, make certain 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 study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Attending Phlebotomy Training near Superior Montana?
If you have decided to enroll in a Phlebotomy School in the Superior MT area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your future school campus.
Superior was named after its founders' hometown of Superior, Wisconsin in 1869. The post office was established in 1871 after Mineral County became the site of one of the largest gold strikes that helped settle the West.
Superior is located within the Bitterroot Range of mountains. The Clark Fork flows through downtown, heading north towards St. Regis, Montana and ultimately emptying into Lake Pend Oreille near Cabinet, Idaho. The mountains to the west of Superior along the Montana/Idaho border receive a large amount of precipitation annually, mostly due to the amount of snow in the winter months. Nearby Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area receives about 400 in (1,000 cm) of snow each winter. The snow pack melts throughout the spring and summer months, feeding the many mountain streams and creeks with water. All of the water eventually reaches the Clark Fork in the valley below, where Superior is located.
As of the census of 2010, there were 812 people, 386 households, and 220 families residing in the town. The population density was 773.3 inhabitants per square mile (298.6/km2). There were 431 housing units at an average density of 410.5 per square mile (158.5/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 93.8% White, 0.7% African American, 1.2% Native American, 1.6% Asian, 0.1% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.3% of the population.
Select the Ideal Phlebotomy College near Superior MT
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomy Trade School. However, by addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Superior MT.
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