Selecting a Phlebotomy School near Natchitoches Louisiana
Picking the right phlebotomy technician school near Natchitoches LA is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it’s vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, many potential students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomist training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Natchitoches LA area labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Natchitoches LA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at Natchitoches LA junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Natchitoches LA employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 few additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To begin with, let’s resolve one potential misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be clinical 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 in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Natchitoches LA students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online 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.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the Natchitoches LA schools you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Louisiana? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Louisiana or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Natchitoches LA job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In numerous 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 important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Natchitoches LA clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Louisiana school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? 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 phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the Natchitoches LA training program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with Natchitoches LA health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Natchitoches healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Natchitoches LA medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s crucial to make sure that the final college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Natchitoches LA, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Natchitoches LA?
Natchitoches (/ˈnækətəʃ/ NAK-ə-təsh; French: Les Natchitoches) is a small city and the parish seat of Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, United States. Established in 1714 by Louis Juchereau de St. Denis as part of French Louisiana, the community was named after the indigenous Natchitoches people.
The City of Natchitoches was not incorporated until after Louisiana had become a state (1812), on February 5, 1819. It is the oldest permanent settlement in the region. Natchitoches' sister city is Nacogdoches, Texas. It is also the location of Northwestern State University.
Natchitoches was established in 1714 by French explorer Louis Juchereau de St. Denis. It is the oldest permanent European settlement within the borders of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. Natchitoches was founded as a French outpost on the Red River for trade with Spanish-controlled Mexico; French traders settled there as early as 1699. The post was established near a village of Natchitoches Indians, after whom the city was named. Early settlers were French Catholic immigrants and creoles (originally meaning those ethnic French born in the colony).
After the United States' Louisiana Purchase of 1803, migration into the territory increased from the US, and Natchitoches experienced a population boom. The Americans were primarily Protestant and of English and Scots-Irish ancestry. They developed several cotton plantations built along the Red River. In the 1820s and early 1830s, Natchitoches was a freight transfer point for cotton from parts of east Texas. Cotton shippers used a land route crossing the Sabine River to Natchitoches, where the freight was transferred to boats, and floated down the Red River to New Orleans. When the course of the Red River shifted,t it bypassed Natchitoches and cut off its lucrative connection with the Mississippi River. A Template:Conver lake was left in the river's previous location.
Choose the Ideal Phlebotomy School near Natchitoches LA
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each school before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best school for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Natchitoches LA.
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