How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist School near Washington Virginia
Selecting the right phlebotomist school near Washington VA is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?
First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic answer 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 comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Washington VA medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.
Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Washington VA labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Washington VA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Washington VA employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the main 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To start with, let’s resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Washington VA students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive 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 obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Washington VA as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Virginia or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining 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 attractive to prospective employers in the Washington VA job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s important to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact some Washington VA clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Virginia school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, 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 classroom and practical. As 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 practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Washington VA healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Washington VA medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to verify that the final school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Washington VA, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Find Phlebotomist Schools Washington Virginia
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Find Phlebotomist Schools and to get more information regarding Free Info on Phlebotomy Technician Courses. However, by addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Washington VA.
More Virginia Bloody Wonderful Locations
Washington is the county seat of Rappahannock County, Virginia, United States. The site of this town was surveyed by George Washington in July 1749. It was the first of what would be many American places to be named for the future first president. Its population was 135 people at the 2010 census, down from 183 in the 2000 census. It is nicknamed Little Washington to avoid confusion with Washington, D.C., which is only 70 miles (110 km) to the east.
The Town of Washington was formerly the location of a trading post utilized by frontier families and members of the resident Manahoac tribe. All of the territory in and around the current town was under the ownership of Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron. In 1748, Lord Fairfax met a 16-year-old George Washington, a distant relative of his. Being impressed by his character, Fairfax employed Washington to survey his lands west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. On July 24, 1749, the town layout as it appears today was surveyed and platted by Washington with the assistance of his chainmen, John Lonem and Edward Corder, as part of his service to Fairfax. The village was officially established as a Town by the Virginia General Assembly on December 14, 1795 when it gained the requisite population of 200. Records from an 1835 gazetteer state that the town contained one academy, fifty-five dwellings, four mercantile stores, two taverns, one house of worship, twenty-seven trade shops, and two large flour mills.
During the Civil War, a home on the town's Main Street served as a Confederate Hospital. In the late 19th century when rail became the main method of trade, the main east-west railway route at the time was constructed north of town through the accessible Thoroughfare Gap. Washington was relatively unaffected by the Industrial Age and thus the current town is quite similar to the one of 150 years ago. By the start of the 20th century, the population reached three hundred, supporting businesses such as three garages and a barber shop. However, since then, the population has declined to less than 200.
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