How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Capitol Heights Maryland
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Capitol Heights MD is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, many prospective students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose 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 classes.
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Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. We will provide more details later. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Capitol Heights MD medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order 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 may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Capitol Heights MD labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Capitol Heights MD medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Capitol Heights MD employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To begin with, let’s dispel one potential misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Capitol Heights MD students. As an added benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Capitol Heights MD in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online 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. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Maryland or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Capitol Heights MD job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Capitol Heights MD hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Maryland school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Capitol Heights MD healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Capitol Heights MD health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s critical to verify that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Capitol Heights MD, 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. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Phlebotomist Programs Capitol Heights Maryland
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final choice. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomist Programs and to get more information regarding Certified Phlebotomist Training. However, by addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Capitol Heights MD.
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Capitol Heights, Maryland
Capitol Heights is a town in Prince George's County, Maryland, located on the border of both the Northeast & Southeast quadrants of Washington D.C. As a matter of fact, East Capitol Street (MD 214), which is a major street in Capitol Heights, happens to be the very street that evenly divides the Northeast & Southeast quadrants of Washington D.C., after leaving Capitol Heights, MD and entering Washington D.C. The town of Capitol Heights is officially bounded between Southern Avenue NE/SE to the north, Yost Place, and Eastern Avenue NE to the east, the Watts Branch Stream, Brooke Road, and Capitol Heights Boulevard to the south, and Marlboro Pike to the west. The zipcode of Capitol Heights is 20743. Though Capitol Heights itself is an incorporated town in Prince George's County, Maryland, residents and businesses located in unincorporated towns either nearby, or on the border of Capitol Heights, such as Coral Hills, Walker Mill, Pepper Mill Village, Carmody Hills, Fairmount Heights, and Chapel Oaks, are assigned Capitol Heights addresses, in addition to the Capitol Heights zipcode of 20743, even though they are not located within the official neighborhood boundaries of Capitol Heights and happen to already be their own separate neighborhoods.
In 1904, Washington, D.C., was growing by leaps and bounds. The overcrowding and the improved public transportation made the idea of living on the outskirts increasingly appealing to people looking for housing. Recognizing the opportunity, Baltimore resident Otway B. Zantzinger acquired 400 hilly acres just beyond the eastern corner of the District of Columbia. He divided the tract into 4,000 lots and began to sell them at prices ranging from $20 to $150 each. He advertised a picturesque view of Washington, D.C., a proposed electric railway, drinking water from crystal-clear springs, nothing down and a dollar a month, no interest, no landlords, and, in the custom and vernacular of the times, "no colored people." Many buyers bought two lots in this haven that was to become Capitol Heights.
While awaiting their "proposed electric railway," commuters to the city could walk about a mile (often through mud) to the District Line station at what is now Seat Pleasant and board a rail car into Washington, DC.
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