How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Grand Lake Colorado
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy school near Grand Lake CO is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it’s important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. We will go into more depth later. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Grand Lake CO medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Grand Lake CO labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Grand Lake CO hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Grand Lake CO employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the key 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist 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 Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let’s resolve one likely misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion 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. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Grand Lake CO students. As an added benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Grand Lake CO in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Colorado? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Colorado or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy 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 program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, 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 Grand Lake CO job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of any colleges 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 internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Grand Lake CO hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Colorado school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Grand Lake CO medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Grand Lake CO healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it’s important to confirm that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Grand Lake CO, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. 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 find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
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How To Become A Phlebotomists Grand Lake Colorado
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each program before making your final selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in How To Become A Phlebotomists and to get more information regarding Phlebotomist Requirements. However, by asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Grand Lake CO.
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Grand Lake, Colorado
Established in 1881, Grand Lake sits at an elevation of 8,369 feet (2,551 m) and derives its name from the lake on whose shores it is situated: Grand Lake, the largest natural body of water in Colorado. The town of Grand Lake was originally an outfitting and supply point for the mining settlements of Lulu City, Teller City, and Gaskill, but today is a tourist destination adjacent to the western entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, which surrounds the lake and the town on three sides. Grand Lake was the Grand County seat of government from 1882-1888. It was incorporated on June 23, 1944.
Grand Lake is located in northeastern Grand County at 40°15′2″N 105°49′28″W / 40.25056°N 105.82444°W / 40.25056; -105.82444 (40.250493, -105.824323).U.S. Route 34 (Trail Ridge Road) runs through the western side of the town, entering Rocky Mountain National Park just north of town and leading 45 miles (72 km) across the mountains to Estes Park. To the southwest, US 34 leads 15 miles (24 km) to Granby.
Due to its elevation, Grand Lake has a subalpine climate (Köppen climate classification Dfc) with a short growing season, averaging just 49 days per year. Temperatures are chilly at night even through the summer months, and only three months have an average temperature of above 10 °C (50 °F).