Selecting a Phlebotomy Training Program near Summertown Tennessee
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Summertown TN is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, many prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to researching phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomist schools you are considering to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Summertown TN area laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Summertown TN medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns 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 work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at Summertown TN community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Summertown TN employers require certification before employing technicians. Some 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you choose a phlebotomy 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.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
First, let’s dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be clinical 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Summertown TN students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the Summertown TN colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Tennessee? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws 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 clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Tennessee or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Summertown TN job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with several Summertown TN clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Tennessee school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, contact 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 phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the Summertown TN training program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with Summertown TN medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Summertown health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage 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 as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Summertown TN medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Summertown TN, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Summertown TN?
Summertown is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Lawrence County, Tennessee with a small portion in both Lewis County and Maury County. The population of Summertown was 866 at the 2010 census.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist College near Summertown TN
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary slightly across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Summertown TN.
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