How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes
Picking the right phlebotomy school near Missoula MT is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, most potential students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
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Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?
Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short answer 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 OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Missoula MT medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may 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 helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork has to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Missoula MT laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Missoula MT medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Missoula MT employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
First, let’s resolve one potential misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Missoula MT students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make sure 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 obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Missoula MT as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy 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 making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Montana? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate 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 very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Montana or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Missoula MT job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students 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 a few Missoula MT clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Montana school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering 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 indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Missoula MT health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Missoula MT health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to make sure that the final school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Missoula MT, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure 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.
Phlebotomy Training Missoula Montana
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomy Training and to get more information regarding Phlebotomy Training School. However, by asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Missoula MT.
Other Bloody Wonderful Montana Locations
Missoula /mɪˈzuːlə/ (listen) is a city in the U.S. state of Montana and is the county seat of Missoula County. It is located along the Clark Fork River near its confluences with the Bitterroot and Blackfoot Rivers in western Montana and at the convergence of five mountain ranges, thus it is often described as the "hub of five valleys". In 2017[update], the United States Census Bureau estimated the city's population at 73,340 and the population of the Missoula Metropolitan Area at 117,441. After Billings, Missoula is both the second largest city and metropolitan area in Montana. Missoula is home to the University of Montana, a public research university.
People of European descent first settled in the Missoula area in 1858, with William T. Hamilton setting up a trading post near current Missoula along the Rattlesnake Creek, Captain Richard Grant settling near Grant Creek, and David Pattee near Pattee Canyon. Missoula was founded in 1860 as Hellgate Trading Post while still part of Washington Territory. By 1866, the settlement had moved east, 5 miles (8 km) upstream, and renamed Missoula Mills, later shortened to Missoula. The mills provided supplies to western settlers traveling along the Mullan Road. The establishment of Fort Missoula in 1877 to protect settlers further stabilized the economy. The arrival of the Northern Pacific Railway in 1883 brought rapid growth and the maturation of the local lumber industry. In 1893, the Montana Legislature chose the city as the site for the state's first university. Along with the U.S. Forest Service headquarters founded in 1908, lumber and the university remained staples of the local economy for the next hundred years.
By the 1990s, Missoula's lumber industry had gradually disappeared, and as of 2009[update], the city's largest employers were the University of Montana, Missoula County Public Schools, and Missoula's two hospitals. The city is governed by a mayor–council government with twelve city council members, two from each of the six wards. In and around Missoula are 400 acres (160 ha) of parkland, 22 miles (35 km) of trails, and nearly 5,000 acres (2,000 ha) of open-space conservation land with adjacent Mount Jumbo home to grazing elk and mule deer during the winter. The city is also home to both Montana's largest and its oldest active breweries as well as the Montana Grizzlies, one of the strongest college football programs in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Notable residents include the first woman in the U.S. Congress, Jeannette Rankin, and the United States' longest-serving Senate Majority Leader, Mike Mansfield.