Choosing a Phlebotomy Course near Woodbridge Virginia
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy training near Woodbridge VA is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it’s important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, many students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, 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 best one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of Woodbridge VA phlebotomists in fact work in laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Woodbridge VA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training in Woodbridge VA, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the primary certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
First, let’s resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved Woodbridge VA 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 in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for some students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the Virginia school is important as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the Woodbridge VA programs you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Virginia or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges in Woodbridge VA. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Woodbridge VA local hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. 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 Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the Virginia regulator or the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any Woodbridge VA phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the Virginia schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Woodbridge VA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering 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 an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Woodbridge VA health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s critical to make sure that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Woodbridge VA, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?When preparing to interview for a Phlebotomy Technician job, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers frequently ask Phlebotomy Technician applicants is "What drove you to choose Phlebotomy as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming Phlebotomist, but additionally what attributes and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to Phlebotomy, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to ready a number of strategies about how you want to respond to them. Since there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an excellent Phlebotomy Technician and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Find the Ideal Phlebotomist School near Woodbridge VA
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal college for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Woodbridge VA.
Learn About Woodbridge Virginia
Woodbridge is a census-designated place (CDP) in Prince William County, Virginia, United States, located 20 miles (32 km) south of Washington, D.C. Bounded by the Occoquan and Potomac rivers, Woodbridge Magisterial District had 54,275 residents at the 2010 census. The Woodbridge census-designated place comprises just one portion of the magisterial district and had a population of 4,055 in the 2010 census. The census-designated place consists solely of the section north of Occoquan Road and Dawson Beach Road, and east of Interstate 95.
Woodbridge offers a variety of amenities for residents and visitors, including the Potomac Mills shopping mall and the Stonebridge at Potomac Town Centre Shopping Centers. Woodbridge is served by the Prince William County Public Schools, and the Woodbridge campus of Northern Virginia Community College borders the district. Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, formerly Potomac Hospital, recently expanded and now has the capacity to serve 183 patients. Transportation includes access to Interstate 95, two VRE commuter train stations, bus service, and a local “slugging” system, offering residents a variety of transit options.
Woodbridge offers a wide range of recreational opportunities for resident and visitors. The Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge is a natural habitat for a variety of plant and animal life including the bald eagles and ospreys. Veteran’s Park and Leesylvania State Park are located on the Potomac River and provide swimming, boating, picnic and hiking services. Close-by is Rippon Lodge, the oldest house in Prince William County, which is open for tours throughout the summer. Trails at Leesylvania Park lead to the ancestral home of the Lee family.
Woodbridge was a village composed largely of either farms or industrial complexes. Later, the Woodbridge postal delivery area became the hub that included Dale City and Lake Ridge, which had previously been forged as a planned community in the 1960s and 1970s. The area takes its name from Thomas Mason's 1795 wooden toll bridge built to supplant the existing ferry, carrying the King's Highway traffic across the Occoquan River. Mason's Woodbridge Plantation was located in the area of the present day Belmont Bay golf course community.
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