Picking a Phlebotomy Training Course near Columbus Georgia
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near Columbus GA is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it’s important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, most potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll talk more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is a lot more to researching phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomist schools you are considering to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Columbus GA area laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Columbus GA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at Columbus GA junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, most Columbus GA employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the principal certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
- American Medical Technologists (AMT).
There are several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let’s dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Columbus GA students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you select 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 means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the Columbus GA colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Columbus GA job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Columbus GA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Georgia school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the Columbus GA training program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with Columbus GA medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Columbus healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at provide 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 program has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Columbus GA health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s important to confirm that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Columbus GA, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Columbus GA?
Columbus is a consolidated city-county in the west central U.S. state of Georgia. Located on the Chattahoochee River directly across from Phenix City, Alabama, Columbus is the county seat of Muscogee County, with which it officially merged in 1970. Columbus is the third-largest city in Georgia and the fourth-largest metropolitan area. According to the 2017 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, Columbus has a population of 194,058 residents, with 303,811 in the greater Columbus–Phenix City metropolitan area. The metro area joins the nearby Alabama cities of Auburn and Opelika to form the Columbus–Auburn–Opelika Combined Statistical Area, which has a 2017 estimated population of 499,128.
Columbus lies 100 miles (160 km) southwest of Atlanta. Fort Benning, the United States Army's Maneuver Center of Excellence and a major employer, is located south of the city in Chattahoochee County. Columbus is home to museums and tourism sites, including the National Infantry Museum, dedicated to the United States Army's Infantry Branch. It has the longest urban whitewater rafting course in the world constructed on the Chattahoochee River.
This was for centuries and more the traditional territory of the Creek Indians, who became known as one of the Five Civilized Tribes of the Southeast after European contact. Those who lived closest to white-occupied areas conducted considerable trading and adopted some European-American ways.
Founded in 1828 by an act of the Georgia Legislature, Columbus was situated at the beginning of the navigable portion of the Chattahoochee River and on the last stretch of the Federal Road before entering Alabama. The city was named for Christopher Columbus, its founders likely influenced by the writings of Washington Irving. The plan for the city was drawn up by Dr. Edwin L. DeGraffenried, who placed the town on a bluff overlooking the river. Across the river to the west, where Phenix City, Alabama is now located, Creek Indians still lived until they were forcibly removed in 1836 by the federal government to make way for European-American settlers.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy School near Columbus GA
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Columbus GA.
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