How to Select the Best Phlebotomist School near Tampa Florida
Choosing the right phlebotomist training near Tampa FL is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it’s necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many potential students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish 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 resume our discussion about online classes.
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Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. We will provide more details 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 Tampa FL medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Tampa FL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Tampa FL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as 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 phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in most states, a number of Tampa FL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key 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 phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
First, let’s resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Tampa FL students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Tampa FL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Florida or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy 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 several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Tampa FL job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact some Tampa FL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Florida school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Tampa FL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges 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 positions, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Tampa FL health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it’s critical to confirm that the final program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Tampa FL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
What Does A Phlebotomy Technician Do Tampa FL
How to Enroll in Phlebotomy Schools Near Me Tampa Florida
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can differ slightly across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in How to Enroll in Phlebotomy Schools Near Me and to get more information regarding Online Phlebotomist Courses Near Me. However, by asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Tampa FL.
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Tampa is a major city in, and the county seat of, Hillsborough County, Florida, United States. It is on the west coast of Florida on Tampa Bay, near the Gulf of Mexico, and is the largest city in the Tampa Bay Area. The bay's port is the largest in the state, near downtown's Channel District. Bayshore Boulevard runs along the bay, and is east of the historic Hyde Park neighborhood.
Today, Tampa is part of the metropolitan area most commonly referred to as the "Tampa Bay Area". For U.S. Census purposes, Tampa is part of the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area. The four-county area is composed of roughly 3.1 million residents, making it the second largest metropolitan statistical area (MSA) in the state, and the fourth largest in the Southeastern United States, behind Washington, D.C.; Miami; and Atlanta. The Greater Tampa Bay area has over 4 million residents and generally includes the Tampa and Sarasota metro areas. The city had a population of 335,709 at the 2010 census, and an estimated population of 392,890 in 2018.
The Tampa Bay Partnership and U.S. Census data showed an average annual growth of 2.47 percent, or a gain of approximately 97,000 residents per year. Between 2000 and 2006, the Greater Tampa Bay Market experienced a combined growth rate of 14.8 percent, growing from 3.4 million to 3.9 million and hitting the 4 million population mark on April 1, 2007. A 2012 estimate shows the Tampa Bay area population to have 4,310,524 people and a 2017 projection of 4,536,854 people.
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