How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech School
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near West Jefferson NC is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, most prospective students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Should You Become a Plebotomist?
Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The basic definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. We will go into more depth later. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other West Jefferson NC medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, 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 could be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal function, there is actually much 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 needs to be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in West Jefferson NC laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as West Jefferson NC medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education along with 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish 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, most West Jefferson NC employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the main certifying organizations 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, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let’s resolve one likely misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some West Jefferson NC students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin 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 school is important if you will be commuting from West Jefferson NC as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to North Carolina? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for North Carolina or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School 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 many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the West Jefferson NC job market.
What is the Program’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 colleges you are looking at. You can begin 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 rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several West Jefferson NC hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the North Carolina school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local West Jefferson NC medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the West Jefferson NC health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to make sure that the final college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near West Jefferson NC, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Compare Best Phlebotomy Programs West Jefferson North Carolina
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying 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 program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your final selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Compare Best Phlebotomy Programs and to get more information regarding Compare Fast Track Phlebotomy Degree Schools. However, by addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in West Jefferson NC.
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West Jefferson, North Carolina
West Jefferson was incorporated in 1909. At one time, West Jefferson had the distinction of having the only cheese factory in the southeastern United States. For many decades West Jefferson was served by the Norfolk and Western Railroad, better known as the "Virginia Creeper". The railroad was the primary reason for the creation of West Jefferson, as the town became a major stop on the railway. With the decline of the railroad and the loss of textile factory jobs to foreign markets, West Jefferson's economy is increasingly devoted to the tourism industry. The town's location in the Appalachian Mountains has led to a large number of tourists visiting the area each year, and many out-of-state tourists have begun to build cabins and housing developments around the town.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,081 people, 527 households, and 290 families residing in the town. The population density was 619.2 people per square mile (238.5/km²). There were 601 housing units at an average density of 344.3 per square mile (132.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 94.73% White, 0.37% African American, 1.57% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.19% Pacific Islander, 2.04% from other races, and 0.83% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.27% of the population.
There were 527 households out of which 22.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.4% were married couples living together, 11.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.8% were non-families. 41.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.02 and the average family size was 2.69.
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