Selecting a Phlebotomy Technician School near Elm Grove Louisiana
Picking the right phlebotomy technician school near Elm Grove LA is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomist training programs than locating 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 as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are researching to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. 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. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Elm Grove LA area laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Elm Grove LA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. 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 Elm Grove LA junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Elm Grove LA 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let’s resolve one potential misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component 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. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many Elm Grove LA students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding 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 wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the Elm Grove LA programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Louisiana or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, 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 superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Elm Grove LA job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Elm Grove LA clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Louisiana school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the Elm Grove LA training program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with Elm Grove LA healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Elm Grove healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Elm Grove LA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it’s crucial to confirm that the final college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Elm Grove LA, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Elm Grove LA?
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Select the Best Phlebotomist School near Elm Grove LA
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a number of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Elm Grove LA.
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