Picking a Phlebotomy Technician Course near West Point Virginia
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician school near West Point VA is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing 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 conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of West Point VA phlebotomists in fact work in laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including West Point VA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training in West Point VA, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, many employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the key certifying agencies 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To start with, let’s dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved West Point VA healthcare facility or an on-campus lab|an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility}. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the Virginia school is relevant in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an online phlebotomy school. 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 making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the West Point VA schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Virginia or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs in West Point VA. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer 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 as well. You can also contact some West Point VA area hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Virginia school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the Virginia regulator or the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any West Point VA phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the Virginia programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local West Point VA health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at provide 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 college has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the West Point VA medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to confirm that the final school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near West Point VA, check that they are available 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 study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?When prepping to interview for a Phlebotomy Tech job, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers typically ask Phlebotomy Tech prospects is "What made you select Phlebotomy as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for being Phlebotomy Tech, but also what qualities and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to Phlebotomy, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must ready several ideas about how you would like to answer them. Because there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an outstanding Phlebotomist and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Find the Ideal Phlebotomist School near West Point VA
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best school for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in West Point VA.
Learn About West Point Virginia
West Point, Virginia
West Point (formerly Delaware) is an incorporated town in King William County, Virginia, United States. The population was 3,306 at the 2010 census.
West Point is located at 37°32′37″N 76°48′19″W / 37.54361°N 76.80528°W / 37.54361; -76.80528 (37.543733, −76.805366). The York River is formed at West Point by the confluence of the Mattaponi and Pamunkey rivers; from there, it separates the Virginia Peninsula and Middle Peninsula regions of eastern Virginia as it flows approximately 40 miles to the Chesapeake Bay.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 6.7 square miles (17.2 km²), of which, 5.2 square miles (13.3 km²) of it is land and 1.5 square miles (4.0 km²) of it (23.12%) is water.
Much of the downtown is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the West Point Historic District.
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