Selecting a Phlebotomy Training Course near Covington Louisiana
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Covington LA is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many 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 may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomist training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Covington LA area labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Covington LA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally 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 means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at Covington LA community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Covington LA employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the main 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 phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
First, let’s resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical option for many Covington LA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the Covington LA colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Louisiana or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Covington LA job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of all 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 online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Covington LA clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Louisiana school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the Covington LA training program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with Covington LA healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Covington healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Covington LA medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s critical to confirm that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Covington LA, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, 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 sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Covington LA?
Covington is a city in, and the parish seat of, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 8,765 at the 2010 census. It is located at a fork of the Bogue Falaya and the Tchefuncte River.
In 1813, John Wharton Collins established a town with the name of Wharton. He is buried on the corner of the city cemetery directly across from the Covington Police Department. There are conflicting stories about how the city came to be named Covington. Many historians believe the city was renamed for General Leonard Covington, a hero of the War of 1812. (Covington was killed late in 1813, having established his home in the Mississippi Territory.)
Local historian Judge Steve Ellis floats another theory centered on the suggestion by Jesse Jones, a local attorney, that the city be named in honor of the Blue Grass whiskey---made in Covington, Kentucky---enjoyed by town officials. In any case, Leonard Covington is the namesake of both towns.
Originally, commerce was brought to Covington via boat up the Bogue Falaya River, which used the Tchefuncte River as a means of passage to and from Lake Pontchartrain. Then in 1888, the railroad came to town. Much of the former railroad right-of-way is now occupied by the Tammany Trace, a thirty-one mile bike trail running east and west through several communities on the north side of Lake Pontchartrain.
Find the Best Phlebotomist School near Covington LA
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Covington LA.
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