How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes
Choosing the right phlebotomy school near Wattsville VA is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll talk more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing 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 schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Wattsville VA laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Wattsville VA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with 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 exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Wattsville VA employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you choose a phlebotomy 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.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To start with, let’s resolve one potential misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Wattsville VA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Wattsville VA in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Virginia? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Virginia or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Wattsville VA job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some 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 looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with some Wattsville VA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Virginia school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, 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. At 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 indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Wattsville VA health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Wattsville VA healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s important to make sure that the final program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Wattsville VA, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And 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 in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Attending Phlebotomy Training near Wattsville Virginia?
If you have decided to enroll in a Phlebotomy School in the Wattsville VA area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your future school campus.
Virginia State Route 175
State Route 175 (SR 175) is a primary state highway in the U.S. state of Virginia. Known as Chincoteague Road, the state highway runs 10.49 miles (16.88 km) from U.S. Route 13 (US 13) at Nash Corner east to Main Street in Chincoteague. SR 175 passes through the northeastern corner of Accomack County, providing the primary access to NASA's Wallops Flight Facility and both Chincoteague Island and the Virginia portion of Assateague Island. The route travels between the mainland and Chincoteague Island along the John B. Whealton Memorial Causeway.
In 1928, SR 520 was designated to run from US 13 in Oak Hall east toward Chincoteague Island, being extended onto the island in 1930. The route was extended south along US 13 and west to a railroad crossing west of Oak Hall in 1930. SR 520 became SR 175 in the 1933 Virginia state highway renumbering. SR 175 was extended south on Main Street in Chincoteague a year later and east on Beebe Road the following year, at which time a spur route known as SR 175Y was designated onto the northern portion of Main Street. The western terminus was moved to its current location in 1947, with the section west of US 13 becoming part of SR 703. SR 175 was routed to bypass Wallops Station to the south in 1954. In 1992, the section of SR 175 in Chincoteague, along with all of SR 175Y, was transferred to the secondary system. SR 175 was rerouted to bypass Marsh Island and a swing bridge over Chincoteague Channel with a new bascule bridge further north in 2010, tying into Main Street at Maddox Boulevard. The former swing bridge was demolished and a spur off the new bridge was built to serve Marsh Island.
SR 175 begins at an intersection with US 13 (Lankford Highway) at Nash Corner 4 miles (6.4 km) south of the Maryland state line. The state highway heads east as a two-lane undivided road through a mix of farmland and woodland. Upon reaching the community of Wattsville, the highway intersects SR 679 (Fleming Road) and SR 798 (Mill Dam Road). The road crosses over Wallops Pond, an impoundment of Wattsville Branch of Mosquito Creek, onto Wallops Island. SR 175 heads east, intersecting SR 798 (Atlantic Avenue) again, then curves north through Wallops Island National Wildlife Refuge and around NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, a rocket launch site operated as a subsidiary of Goddard Space Flight Center. While heading north parallel to one of the flight facility's runways, the state highway passes the NASA Visitor Center. SR 175 curves to the east as it passes the main entrance to the flight facility.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Program near Wattsville VA
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each school prior to making your final decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in How To Become A Phlebotomist Online. However, by asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Wattsville VA.
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