How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Pagosa Springs Colorado
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near Pagosa Springs CO is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it’s vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. We will go into more depth later. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Pagosa Springs CO medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Pagosa Springs CO labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Pagosa Springs CO 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 young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, many Pagosa Springs CO employers require certification before employing 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
First, let’s dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Pagosa Springs CO students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind 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 important if you will be commuting from Pagosa Springs CO as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working 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 enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Colorado or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose 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 benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Pagosa Springs CO job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Pagosa Springs CO hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Colorado school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? 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 phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Pagosa Springs CO medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority 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 Pagosa Springs CO medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s important to confirm that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Pagosa Springs CO, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify 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 ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
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How To Choose Phlebotomy Classes Pagosa Springs Colorado
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each college prior to making your final choice. You originally came to this website due to an interest in How To Choose Phlebotomy Classes and to get more information regarding Blood Draw Technician. However, by addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Pagosa Springs CO.
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Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Pagosa Springs is a municipality that is the county seat of, and the only incorporated municipality in, Archuleta County, Colorado, United States. The population was 1,727 at the 2010 census. Approximately 65 percent of the land in Archuleta County is either San Juan National Forest, Weminuche and South San Juan Wilderness areas, or Southern Ute Indian land.
Pagosa Springs and the surrounding county are both experiencing a substantial influx of second-home owners; a 2006 property assessment indicates that 60% of area private properties are owned by non-residents.
Pagosa Springs is located approximately 35 miles (56 km) north of the New Mexico border, nestled at 7,126 feet (2,172 m) on the Western Slope of the Continental Divide. This combination of high desert plateau and dramatic Rocky Mountains to the north and east creates an unusually mild climate, especially in the summer months, when compared with much of the surrounding Southwest. Pagosa is favored with around 300 days of sun each year, as well as four distinct seasons.