Selecting a Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Preston Maryland
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Preston MD is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, most students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll talk more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomist training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomist schools you are researching to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Preston MD area labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Preston MD hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education together 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 incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at Preston MD community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, most Preston MD employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To begin with, let’s dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in 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 component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Preston MD students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the Preston MD schools you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Maryland or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Preston MD job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In numerous 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 important to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students 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 talk to a few Preston MD clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Maryland school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the Preston MD training program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with Preston MD health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Preston medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Preston MD health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it’s important to verify that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Preston MD, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Preston MD?
Preston is home to the Linchester Mill, c. 1682. During the Revolutionary War it supplied grain to George Washington's troops. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009 along with the Jacob and Hannah Leverton House. The town is also home to a newly renovated Underground Railway stop that was utilized by Harriet Tubman to make some of her greatest rescues. The site is located off of Grove Road.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Preston has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
As of the census of 2010, there were 719 people, 264 households, and 190 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,261.4 inhabitants per square mile (487.0/km2). There were 295 housing units at an average density of 517.5 per square mile (199.8/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 89.0% White, 6.3% African American, 0.4% Native American, 1.1% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 2.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.0% of the population.
There were 264 households of which 40.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.4% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 7.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 28.0% were non-families. 22.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.14.
Choose the Ideal Phlebotomy Training Program near Preston MD
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Preston MD.
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