Picking a Phlebotomy School near Columbus Georgia
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Columbus GA is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it’s important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes 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 much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select 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 training.
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of Columbus GA phlebotomists in fact work in labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Columbus GA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training in Columbus GA, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as 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, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, most employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the principal 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 other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To start with, let’s dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved Columbus GA healthcare facility or an on-campus lab|an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility}. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical option for some students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on 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 Georgia campus is relevant in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the Columbus GA programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs in Columbus GA. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to investigate the reputations of all 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 assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Columbus GA area clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Georgia school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, contact the Georgia regulator or the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any Columbus GA phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the Georgia schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Columbus GA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Columbus GA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it’s critical to confirm that the final school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Columbus GA, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?When getting ready to interview for a Phlebotomy Tech position, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask Phlebotomist applicants is "What drove you to decide on Phlebotomy as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being Phlebotomist, but additionally what qualities and talents you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to Phlebotomy, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should ready a number of ideas about how you would like to answer them. Since there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding Phlebotomy Technician and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down several ideas and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Enroll in the Ideal Phlebotomist College near Columbus GA
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Columbus GA.
Learn About Columbus Georgia
Columbus is a city in the U.S. state of Georgia and the county seat of Muscogee County, with which it is consolidated. According to the 2013 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, Columbus has a population of 202,824 residents, with 316,554 in the greater Columbus-Phenix City metropolitan area. The metro area joins the nearby Alabama cities of Auburn and Opelika to form the Columbus-Auburn-Opelika Combined Statistical Area, which has an estimated population of 501,649. Columbus is directly to the east across the Chattahoochee River from Phenix City, Alabama. Situated at the heart of the Chattahoochee Valley, Columbus is Georgia's second-largest city and fourth-largest metropolitan area.
Columbus lies 100 miles (160 km) southwest of Atlanta. Fort Benning, the United States Army's Maneuver Center of Excellence and a major employer, is located south of the city in Chattahoochee County. Columbus is home to museums and tourism sites, including the National Infantry Museum, dedicated to the United States Army's Infantry Branch. It has the longest urban whitewater rafting course in the world constructed on the Chattahoochee River.
This was for centuries and more the traditional territory of the Creek Indians, who became known as one of the Five Civilized Tribes of the Southeast after European contact. Those who lived closest to white-occupied areas conducted considerable trading and adopted some European-American ways.
Founded in 1828 by an act of the Georgia Legislature, Columbus was situated at the beginning of the navigable portion of the Chattahoochee River and on the last stretch of the Federal Road before entering Alabama. The city was named for Christopher Columbus, its founders likely influenced by the writings of Washington Irving. The plan for the city was drawn up by Dr. Edwin L. DeGraffenried, who placed the town on a bluff overlooking the river. Across the river to the west, where Phenix City, Alabama is now located, Creek Indians still lived until they were forcibly removed in 1836 by the federal government to make way for European-American settlers.
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