How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy School
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Three Rivers TX is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many prospective students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll review more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Three Rivers TX laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Three Rivers TX medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. 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 different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually 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. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in most states, many Three Rivers TX employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let’s resolve one possible misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Three Rivers TX students. As an added benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type 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 important if you will be commuting from Three Rivers TX in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Texas or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Three Rivers TX job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact some Three Rivers TX hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Texas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Three Rivers TX healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing 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 school has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Three Rivers TX healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s critical to confirm that the final school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Three Rivers TX, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Attending Phlebotomy Training near Three Rivers Texas?
If you have decided to enroll in a Phlebotomy School in the Three Rivers TX area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your future school campus.
Three Rivers, Texas
Mrs. Annie T. Hamilton of Cuero owned a tract of land in the Brush Country where Three Rivers now sits. At the urging of Mrs. Hamilton, Charles R. Tips came to the Brush Country. In 1913, Mrs. Hamilton paid the San Antonio, Uvalde and Gulf Railroad to build a depot on her land in 1913. Tips organized a townsite company and sold land for the township. On July 4, 1913 the town began with a grand opening and first sale of land. From its formation it was designed as a segregated township, with the "Mexican" section located between the river and the railroad tracks, west of the business section. This can still be seen today in the differences of street names, even though forced segregation ended many decades past.
The city is named for its proximity to three rivers, the Atascosa River, the Frio River, and the Nueces River (the Atascosa joins the Frio north of the city, while the Frio joins the Nueces south of the city). Originally named Hamiltonburg, the city name was changed when mail meant for the city was accidentally delivered to Hamilton, Texas instead. Tips suggested the town be named for its location near the rivers, and Three Rivers was approved as the new name by the post office department on May 1, 1914. Three Rivers was incorporated in 1926 and operates under the general-law aldermanic form of government. In 1925 its population was estimated at 1,000, in 1931 at 1,275, and in 1965 at 1,932, with seventy businesses.
In 1920 natural gas was discovered near Three Rivers and was piped into town and a small refinery was built. The first glass factory in Texas was built at Three Rivers in 1922 as the gas fuel and local sand was plentiful. The onset of the Great Depression forced the sale of the factory to the Ball Glass Company in 1937, and the factory was permanently closed in 1938. The small refinery, however, expanded over time to become a major Diamond Shamrock refinery by 1990 and still is a major employer in the town to this day.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy College near Three Rivers TX
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is a critical 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 program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each school before making your final decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in What Does It Take To Become A Phlebotomist. However, by addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Three Rivers TX.
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