Picking a Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Williamsport Pennsylvania
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician training near Williamsport PA is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, most potential students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to researching phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork must be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time 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 may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Williamsport PA area laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Williamsport PA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at Williamsport PA community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, many Williamsport PA employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the primary certifying organizations 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To start with, let’s dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for some Williamsport PA students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking 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 each of the Williamsport PA schools you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws 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 performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium 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 organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Williamsport PA job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist 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 place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Williamsport PA hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Pennsylvania school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the Williamsport PA training program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with Williamsport PA healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Williamsport healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning 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 large network of professional contacts within the Williamsport PA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s crucial to verify that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Williamsport PA, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Williamsport PA?
Williamsport, officially The City of Williamsport, is a city in and the county seat of Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, United States. In 2009, the population was estimated at 29,304. It is the principal city of the Williamsport, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has a population of about 117,000.
The city is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Central Pennsylvania. It is 131 miles from Philadelphia, 166 miles from Pittsburgh and 67 miles from state capital Harrisburg as the crow flies. The city in renowned for its sports, arts scene and food.
Williamsport was settled by Americans late in the 18th century, and the town began to prosper due to its lumber industry. By the early 20th century, the town reached the height of its prosperity and the population has since declined by about a third from its peak of around 45,000 in 1950.
Williamsport is the birthplace of Little League Baseball. South Williamsport, a town nearby, is the headquarters of Little League Baseball and annually hosts the Little League World Series in late summer.
Find the Right Phlebotomist School near Williamsport PA
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Williamsport PA.
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