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How to Choose Best Phlebotomy Classes Westcliffe CO

How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes

Westcliffe CO phlebotomist drawing blood from patientPicking the ideal phlebotomy school near Westcliffe CO is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it’s important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. 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 right one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.

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Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?

Westcliffe CO phlebotomy tech collecting blood sampleFirst of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. We will go into more depth later. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Westcliffe CO medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings 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 compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.

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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary

Westcliffe CO phlebotomist drawing bloodA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly 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 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 Westcliffe CO labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?

Westcliffe CO phlebotomist holding blood sampleThe most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Westcliffe CO medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind 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 practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing

Westcliffe CO phlebotomy tech conducting lab analysisThere are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Westcliffe CO employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the primary 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Phlebotomy Online Classes

Westcliffe CO student attending online phlebotomy classesTo start with, let’s dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Westcliffe CO students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.

What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges

What to ask Westcliffe CO phlebotomy schoolsNow that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Westcliffe CO in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Colorado or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional 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 in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Westcliffe CO job market.

What is the College’s Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Westcliffe CO hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Colorado school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact 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 looking at should furnish 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 expansive enough to provide adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Westcliffe CO health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Westcliffe CO health care community.

Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it’s crucial to confirm that the final college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Westcliffe CO, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm 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 completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.

How to Choose Best Phlebotomy Classes Westcliffe Colorado

Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school before making your final choice. You originally came to this website due to an interest in How to Choose Best Phlebotomy Classes and to get more information regarding How to Choose Fast Track Phlebotomy Degree Programs.  However, by addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Westcliffe CO.

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    Westcliffe, Colorado

    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).[12] 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.[13]

    As of the census[15] of 2000, there were 417 people, 194 households, and 108 families residing in the town. The population density was 367.1 people per square mile (141.2/km²). There were 246 housing units at an average density of 216.6 per square mile (83.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.44% White, 1.92% Native American, 0.24% Asian, and 2.40% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.16% of the population.

     

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