How to Choose the Best One Near San Antonio Texas
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the fulfilling medical vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy school near San Antonio TX. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However, to ensure that you will get a top-notch education you must complete a detailed audit prior to making your decision. In reality, a large number of students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Whether you will commute to classes or participate online is an option you need to consider as well. Online courses will be discussed in more detail a bit later. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Phlebotomy Career Below!
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, including San Antonio TX hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most San Antonio TX employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the principal 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 phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for many San Antonio TX students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from San Antonio TX as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Texas? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement 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, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Texas or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many 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 qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the San Antonio TX 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 imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to some San Antonio TX clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Texas school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, check with 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 phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local San Antonio TX medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the San Antonio TX medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near San Antonio TX, make sure they are offered 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 attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best San Antonio Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in San Antonio Texas.