How to Select the Right Phlebotomy School
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Womelsdorf PA is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, most prospective students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Womelsdorf PA laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Womelsdorf PA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw 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 drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working 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 collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Womelsdorf PA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the primary 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let’s dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Womelsdorf PA students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school 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 receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked 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 campus is important if you will be commuting from Womelsdorf PA in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Pennsylvania? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Womelsdorf PA job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? 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 essential to investigate 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 placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Womelsdorf PA clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, 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 phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Womelsdorf PA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority 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 Womelsdorf PA medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it’s critical to verify that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Womelsdorf PA, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Attending Phlebotomy Training near Womelsdorf Pennsylvania?
If you have decided to enroll in a Phlebotomy School in the Womelsdorf PA area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your future school campus.
Womelsdorf is a borough in Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 2,810 at the 2010 census. The main thoroughfares through Womelsdorf are High Street, which runs east-west, and Pennsylvania Route 419, which runs north-south. U.S. Route 422 runs along the northern edge of town.
John Womelsdorf founded the community in 1762. It was originally named Middletown, being halfway between the cities of Lebanon and Reading, but roughly 50 years later it was changed to Womelsdorf in honor of its founder.
A Pennsylvania state historic site, the Conrad Weiser Homestead, is located in Womelsdorf; this site interprets the life of Conrad Weiser, a well-known 18th-century German immigrant who played a major role in the history of colonial Pennsylvania.
Select the Ideal Phlebotomist School near Womelsdorf PA
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program before making your final decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomy Certification Training. However, by asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Womelsdorf PA.
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