Selecting a Phlebotomy School near Washington District of Columbia
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist school near Washington DC is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select 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 classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. 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. Some Washington DC phlebotomists in fact work in laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Washington DC hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training in Washington DC, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most employers require certification prior to 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To begin with, let’s dispel one likely misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved Washington DC healthcare facility or an on-campus lab|an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility}. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for some students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (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 earning your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the District of Columbia campus is significant in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the Washington DC colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for District of Columbia or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges in Washington DC. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s important to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Washington DC area hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the District of Columbia school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact the District of Columbia regulator or the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any Washington DC phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the District of Columbia programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Washington DC health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position 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 rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most 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 Washington DC healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s crucial to confirm that the final school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Washington DC, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Be a Phlebotomist?When getting ready to interview for a Phlebotomy Technician position, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask Phlebotomy Technician applicants is "What compelled you to select Phlebotomy as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming Phlebotomy Tech, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to Phlebotomy, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you should ready a number of approaches about how you would like to answer them. Since there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the talents you possess that make you an outstanding Phlebotomy Technician and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down several ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Choose the Ideal Phlebotomy School near Washington DC
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical 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 premium program. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Washington DC.
Learn About Washington District of Columbia
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as "Washington", "the District", or simply "D.C.", is the capital of the United States.
The signing of the Residence Act on July 16, 1790, approved the creation of a capital district located along the Potomac River on the country's East Coast. The U.S. Constitution provided for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Congress and the District is therefore not a part of any state. The states of Maryland and Virginia each donated land to form the federal district, which included the pre-existing settlements of Georgetown and Alexandria. Named in honor of President George Washington, the City of Washington was founded in 1791 to serve as the new national capital. In 1846, Congress returned the land originally ceded by Virginia; in 1871, it created a single municipal government for the remaining portion of the District.
Washington had an estimated population of 681,170 as of July 2016. Commuters from the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs raise the city's population to more than one million during the workweek. The Washington metropolitan area, of which the District is the principal city, has a population of over 6 million, the sixth-largest metropolitan statistical area in the country.
All three branches of the federal government of the United States are centered in the District - the Congress, President, and Supreme Court. Washington is home to many national monuments and museums, which are primarily situated on or around the National Mall. The city hosts 176 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of many international organizations, trade unions, non-profit organizations, lobbying groups, and professional associations.
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