Choosing a Phlebotomy School near Sulphur Louisiana
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Sulphur LA is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are researching to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Sulphur LA area laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Sulphur LA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at Sulphur LA community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Sulphur LA employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
First, let’s dispel one likely misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical 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. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for some Sulphur LA students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just confirm 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 comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the Sulphur LA colleges you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Louisiana or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Sulphur LA job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s important to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Sulphur LA clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Louisiana school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, contact 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the Sulphur LA training program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with Sulphur LA healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Sulphur healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Sulphur LA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Sulphur LA, make sure they are available 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 practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Sulphur LA?
Sulphur is named for the sulfur mines that were operated in the area in the 1900s. In 1867, Professor Eugene W. Hilgard, an experienced geologist who was prospecting for oil and other minerals, conducted exploratory borings in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana and discovered sulfur in the caprock of a salt dome. However, the sulfur was beneath several hundred feet of muck and quicksand containing deadly hydrogen sulfide gas, which made mining extremely hazardous. Repeated unsuccessful attempts to sink conventional mining shafts in the 1870s and 1880s resulted in the loss of many lives.
In 1890, the German immigrant Herman Frasch invented and patented the Frasch Process of mining sulfur, using concentric pipes to pump superheated water into the ground, liquefy the mineral, and force the liquid to the surface with compressed air. The first molten sulfur was brought to the surface on Christmas Eve of 1894. Sulfur soon began to be mined on an industrial scale, with the molten mineral allowed to solidify and dry in enormous vats 100 by 400 feet, then blasted and hauled by rail to the Sabine River for shipment. Frasch's invention greatly facilitated sulfur mining, and the Union Sulphur Company, a joint venture of Dr. Frasch and the American Sulphur Company that owned the land, sparked a period of booming growth in the decades that followed. The elementary school on South Huntington Street in downtown Sulphur is named after Frasch.
With the addition of the Cities Service (Citgo) oil refinery in 1943, the areas of Maplewood and Hollywood were developed to house refinery workers. The Sulphur area is still mostly dependent on the oil refineries and petrochemical plants for employment.
Sulphur is located near the center of Calcasieu Parish. The city lies on Interstate 10 between the towns of Vinton and Westlake, approximately 20 miles (32 km) east of the Texas border. The city of Lake Charles is 9 miles (14 km) to the east. U.S. Route 90 passes through the center of Sulphur as Napoleon Street. Access from I-10 is via exits 20, 21, 23, and 26. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.0 square miles (25.9 km2), all land.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Course near Sulphur LA
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Sulphur LA.
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