Choosing a Phlebotomy School near Oak Grove Louisiana
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near Oak Grove LA is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it’s important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to researching phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomist schools you are considering to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Oak Grove LA area laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Oak Grove LA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means 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 to become a phlebotomist. Available at Oak Grove LA community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Oak Grove LA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
First, let’s resolve one likely misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for some Oak Grove LA students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to start 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 mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are an important 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 some questions that you should ask about each of the Oak Grove LA programs you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets 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 phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality 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 previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Oak Grove LA job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Oak Grove LA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Louisiana school licensing authority and find out 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 working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the Oak Grove LA training program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with Oak Grove LA medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Oak Grove medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Oak Grove LA medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s critical to verify that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Oak Grove LA, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. 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 ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Oak Grove LA?
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Course near Oak Grove LA
Making sure that you pick 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 go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Oak Grove LA.
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