Selecting a Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Watkinsville Georgia
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Watkinsville GA is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it’s important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, most potential students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We’ll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomist training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Watkinsville GA area labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Watkinsville GA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at Watkinsville GA junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Watkinsville GA employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the key 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 call for 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 imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To start with, let’s dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for many Watkinsville GA students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on 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 college is significant in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the Watkinsville GA colleges you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select 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 advantages 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 be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Watkinsville GA job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Watkinsville GA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Georgia school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the Watkinsville GA training program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with Watkinsville GA healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Watkinsville medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Watkinsville GA health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it’s important to make sure that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Watkinsville GA, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. 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 find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Watkinsville GA?
Watkinsville is the largest city and seat of Oconee County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the town had a total population of 2,832. It served as the seat of Clarke County until 1872 when the county seat of that county was moved to Athens, a move which ultimately led to the creation of Oconee County in 1875. It is included in the Athens-Clarke County, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,097 people, 827 households, and 578 families residing in the town. The population density was 650.6 people per square mile (251.4/km²). There were 862 housing units at an average density of 267.4 per square mile (103.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 89.08% White, 7.34% African American, 0.05% Native American, 1.62% Asian, 0.48% Pacific Islander, 0.86% from other races, and 0.57% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.96% of the population.
There were 827 households out of which 36.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.6% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.1% were non-families. 24.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 2.99.
In the town, the population was spread out with 26.8% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 33.0% from 25 to 44, 22.7% from 45 to 64, and 8.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 92.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.5 males.
Select the Ideal Phlebotomist Course near Watkinsville GA
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a variety of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each college before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Watkinsville GA.
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