How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Westcliffe Colorado
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Westcliffe CO is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it’s vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, many potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
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Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short definition is a medical 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 able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Westcliffe CO medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Westcliffe CO labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Westcliffe CO hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect 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 collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, 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 less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Westcliffe CO employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the principal 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
First, let’s resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Westcliffe CO students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Westcliffe CO in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies 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 School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Westcliffe CO job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Westcliffe CO clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Colorado school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. 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 practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Westcliffe CO healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at provide 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 substantial network of professional contacts within the Westcliffe CO medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s critical to make sure that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Westcliffe CO, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
How Much Does It Cost To Become A Phlebotomist Westcliffe Colorado
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college prior to making your final decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in How Much Does It Cost To Become A Phlebotomist and to get more information regarding Local Phlebotomy Classes. However, by asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Westcliffe CO.
More Colorado Bloody Wonderful Locations
Westcliffe is located west of the geographic center of Custer County at 38°7′58″N 105°27′57″W / 38.13278°N 105.46583°W / 38.13278; -105.46583 (38.132874, -105.465920). It lies in the Wet Mountain Valley, between the Wet Mountains to the east and the Sangre de Cristo Range to the west. The town of Silver Cliff is immediately to the east of Westcliffe.
Westcliffe, and neighboring Silver Cliff, Colorado are recognized as IDA International Dark Sky Communities by The International Dark-Sky Association. Gentle persuasion has resulted in residents and business in the towns and surrounding ranch land reducing the amount of light pollution.
Locals have set up a free observatory in an old period building with a "roll-off" roof to open up the 14-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope with computer-guided pointing and tracking to the skies overhead. Named the Smokey Jack Observatory, it was built in 2015.
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