Choosing a Phlebotomist Course near Palm Harbor Florida
Picking the right phlebotomist school near Palm Harbor FL is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, most potential students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We’ll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. 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 choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of Palm Harbor FL phlebotomists actually work in labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Palm Harbor FL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training in Palm Harbor FL, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, many employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
First, let’s dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved Palm Harbor FL healthcare facility or an on-campus lab|an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility}. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the Florida campus is important as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the Palm Harbor FL colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Florida? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Florida or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, 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 premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools in Palm Harbor FL. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to check the reputations of all 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 screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Palm Harbor FL area clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Florida school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact the Florida regulator or the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any Palm Harbor FL phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the Florida colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Palm Harbor FL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Palm Harbor FL medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to confirm that the final college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Palm Harbor FL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Phlebotomist?When getting ready to interview for a Phlebotomy Technician position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers frequently ask Phlebotomy Technician candidates is "What drove you to pick Phlebotomy as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming Phlebotomy Tech, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to Phlebotomy, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must organize some approaches about how you would like to answer them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an outstanding Phlebotomy Tech and the best candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Course near Palm Harbor FL
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal school for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Palm Harbor FL.
Learn About Palm Harbor Florida
Palm Harbor, Florida
Palm Harbor is a census-designated place and unincorporated community in Pinellas County, Florida, United States. As of the 2010 census, the CDP had a population of 64,301.
Palm Harbor is located 35 km north of downtown St. Petersburg and west of Tampa. It is a largely residential community with several concentrations of commerce. Downtown Palm Harbor, north of Tampa Road between U.S. Highway 19 Alternate and Omaha Street hosts many small shops and eateries along with a handful of historic buildings.U.S. Highway 19, a mile or two east of downtown, offers access to higher concentrations of commerce, with an array of national chain restaurants and retailers. One entrance to Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club, a nationally regarded golf course is found on U.S. 19.
The historic downtown district of Palm Harbor, at Florida Avenue and Alt. US 19 and CR 1, has numerous festivals and craft fairs. Old Palm Harbor Main Streets, Inc., a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, hosts their signature event the first Friday of every month. "Palm Harbor's First Friday Celebrations" are a popular community event for youngsters and adults alike. There are rides and games for the children, with opportunities to dine on food from the many local restaurants, enjoy local artists and crafters displaying and selling their wares. Annually, the first Sunday in October marks when the "Taste of Palm Harbor" festival is held. The event is presented by the Palm Harbor Junior Women's Club with the proceeds benefiting their "Making a Difference" grants & scholarships program. The Taste of Palm Harbor traditionally offers live music and the tasting of samples from over 20 local restaurants, many of which make seafood their speciality.
Palm Harbor is an unincorporated part of Pinellas County. HB 183 - Town of Palm Harbor/Pinellas County, from 2009, was the most recent local bill that would have scheduled a referendum allowing Palm Harbor voters the opportunity to decide if they want to incorporate, but the bill died in committee. Pinellas County legislators had voted on January 22, 2009, to support a bill allowing voters in Palm Harbor to decide if they wanted their unincorporated community to become the county's 25th city. It passed over the objections of Pinellas County Commissioner Susan Latvala, who said she was appearing in both her official capacity and as a Palm Harbor resident. The Legislature would have needed to first conduct a feasibility study to make sure cityhood made fiscal sense.
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