Selecting a Phlebotomist Training Course near West Point Georgia
Picking the ideal phlebotomy training near West Point GA is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll review more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are researching to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in West Point GA area laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including West Point GA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting 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 setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at West Point GA junior and community colleges, they usually require two 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 finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of West Point GA employers look for certification prior to employing 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To begin with, let’s dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical option for many West Point GA students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate 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 school is important as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the West Point GA colleges you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Georgia? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the West Point GA job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to check out the reputations of any colleges 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 internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to some West Point GA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Georgia school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the West Point GA training program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with West Point GA medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local West Point health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the West Point GA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s critical to confirm that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near West Point GA, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near West Point GA?
West Point, Georgia
West Point is a city in Troup County, with a small tail of the south end of town in Harris County, in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 3,474, and in 2015 the estimated population was 3,728. The portion of the city in Troup County is part of the LaGrange Micropolitan Statistical Area, and hence part of the Atlanta-Athens-Clarke County-Sandy Springs, GA Combined Statistical Area. The portion in Harris County is part of the Columbus Columbus metropolitan area.
The city's present name comes from its being near the westernmost point of the Chattahoochee River, where the river turns from its southwesterly flow from the Appalachian Mountains to due south – for all practical purposes – and forms the boundary with Alabama. The large nearby reservoir, West Point Lake, was created by the Army Corps of Engineers by the building of the West Point Dam, for water storage and hydroelectric power generation. The reservoir stores water which can be released during dry seasons, in order to maintain the water level of the navigable inland waterway from Columbus, Georgia, south to the Gulf of Mexico.
During the late spring of 2003, there was a flood caused by extremely heavy rainfall and thunderstorms upstream of the West Point Dam; the weather caused the water level in the reservoir to come close to overflowing the top of the dam. There were allegations of poor forecasting by the Corps of Engineers of the reservoir's water levels. The flood water would have overflowed the dam had a large amount of water not been released though the spillway of the dam. Whereas this prevented the catastrophic failure of the West Point Dam, the city endured a flood much more severe than any other in the time since the dam had been built.
In the mid-19th century, the Atlanta & LaGrange Railroad was established and soon renamed the Atlanta & West Point Railroad, using the name of West Point; the city of East Point, Fulton County, Georgia, received its name for being at the northeastern end of this railroad line. The rail line linked metropolitan Atlanta with the lower reaches of the Chattahoochee River, with Columbus, and with Montgomery, Alabama, via the Montgomery & West Point Railroad.
Find the Ideal Phlebotomist School near West Point GA
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in West Point GA.
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