Selecting a Phlebotomy Technician School near Willow Grove Pennsylvania
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Willow Grove PA is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it’s important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is much more to researching phlebotomist training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing 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 actually work in Willow Grove PA area labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Willow Grove PA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education together 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 phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at Willow Grove PA community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, most Willow Grove PA employers require certification before employing technicians. A few 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
First, let’s resolve one likely misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part 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. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for some Willow Grove PA students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the Willow Grove PA schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Willow Grove PA job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s important to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Willow Grove PA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Pennsylvania school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the Willow Grove PA training program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with Willow Grove PA medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Willow Grove medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support 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 high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Willow Grove PA health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s crucial to make sure that the final school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Willow Grove PA, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even 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 policy is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Willow Grove PA?
Willow Grove, Pennsylvania
Willow Grove is a census-designated place (CDP) in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. A community in Philadelphia's northern suburbs, the population was 15,726 at the 2010 census. It is located in Upper Dublin Township, Abington Township and Upper Moreland Township. Willow Grove was once known for Willow Grove Park, an amusement park that was open from 1896 to 1976, now the site of Willow Grove Park Mall. Willow Grove is considered an edge city of Philadelphia with large amounts of retail and office space.
Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove was located northwest of the Willow Grove CDP in Horsham Township. NAS JRB Willow Grove transitioned into Horsham Air National Guard Station in September 2011.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 3.6 square miles (9.3 km2), of which 0.28% is water. It has a hot-summer humid continental climate (Dfa) and its hardiness zone is 7a.
As of the 2010 census, the CDP was 81.4% White, 8.2% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 4.9% Asian, 1.1% were Some Other Race, and 2.3% were two or more races. 3.5% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist School near Willow Grove PA
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Willow Grove PA.
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