Choosing a Phlebotomist Course near Williamsburg Virginia
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Williamsburg VA is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it’s important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many Williamsburg VA phlebotomists actually work in laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Williamsburg VA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training in Williamsburg VA, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of employers require 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To begin with, let’s dispel one likely misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved Williamsburg VA healthcare facility or an on-campus lab|an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility}. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for many students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the Virginia campus is important as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are an important part 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 all of the Williamsburg VA programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Virginia or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior 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 loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools in Williamsburg VA. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact several Williamsburg VA local hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Virginia school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, check with the Virginia regulator or the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any Williamsburg VA phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the Virginia schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Williamsburg VA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Williamsburg VA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s critical to verify that the final program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Williamsburg VA, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?When preparing to interview for a Phlebotomy Tech job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters typically ask Phlebotomist prospects is "What drove you to choose Phlebotomy as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming Phlebotomist, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to Phlebotomy, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you should ready a number of ideas about how you want to answer them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an excellent Phlebotomist and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Select the Right Phlebotomy Course near Williamsburg VA
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, 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 realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Williamsburg VA.
Learn About Williamsburg Virginia
Williamsburg is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 14,068. In 2014, the population was estimated to be 14,691.
Located on the Virginia Peninsula, Williamsburg is in the northern part of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area. It is bordered by James City County and York County.
Williamsburg was founded in 1632 as Middle Plantation, a fortified settlement on high ground between the James and York rivers. The city served as the capital of the Colony and Commonwealth of Virginia from 1699 to 1780 and was the center of political events in Virginia leading to the American Revolution. The College of William & Mary, established in 1693, is the second-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and the only one of the nine colonial colleges located in the South; its alumni include three U.S. presidents as well as many other important figures in the nation's early history.
The city's tourism-based economy is driven by Colonial Williamsburg, the restored Historic Area of the city. Along with nearby Jamestown and Yorktown, Williamsburg forms part of the Historic Triangle, which attracts more than four million tourists each year. Modern Williamsburg is also a college town, inhabited in large part by William & Mary students and staff.
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