Choosing a Phlebotomy School near Smyrna Georgia
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist training near Smyrna GA is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it’s necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many prospective students start 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 online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomist training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomist schools you are considering to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork needs to 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 may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Smyrna GA area laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Smyrna GA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at Smyrna GA junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in most states, most Smyrna GA employers require certification prior to employing 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
First, let’s resolve one likely misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical option for some Smyrna GA students. As an added benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the Smyrna GA schools you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Georgia? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Smyrna GA job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Smyrna GA clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Georgia school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the Smyrna GA training program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with Smyrna GA healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Smyrna healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Smyrna GA healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s crucial to verify that the final college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Smyrna GA, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Smyrna GA?
Smyrna is a city in Cobb County, Georgia, United States. It is located northwest of Atlanta, and is in the inner ring of the Atlanta Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 51,271. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the population in 2013 to be 53,438. It is included in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs–Roswell MSA, which is included in the Atlanta–Athens–Clarke–Sandy Springs CSA. Smyrna grew by 28% between the years 2000 and 2012. It is historically one of the fastest growing cities in the State of Georgia, and one of the most densely populated cities in the metro area.
Pioneers began settling the area in 1832. By the late 1830s, a religious encampment called Smyrna Camp Ground had become a popular travel destination and was well known throughout Georgia. It was named by Greeks for the Biblical city of Smyrna, modern day Izmir in Turkey, the home of the famous Christian martyr Polycarp. After the completion of the Western and Atlantic Railroad in 1842, the area began to grow. It was known by several names until 1872—Varner's Station, Ruff's Siding, Neal Dow, and Ruff's Station. The city was incorporated with the name Smyrna in 1872.
Two Civil War battles occurred in the area, the Battle of Smyrna Camp Ground and the Battle of Ruff's Mill, both on July 4, 1864. The area's businesses, homes and 1849 covered bridge (since rebuilt and still in use today) were burned by Sherman's troops.
The nearby Bell Bomber plant that produced B-29 bombers during World War II was reopened by Lockheed in 1951, and became a catalyst for growth. The city's population grew during the next two decades, from 2,005 in 1950 to almost 20,000 by 1970.
Find the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Smyrna GA
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Smyrna GA.
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