Choosing a Phlebotomy Technician Training Program in Mississippi
Picking the right phlebotomist training in Mississippi is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. 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 afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Many Mississippi phlebotomists in fact work in labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Mississippi hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing 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 senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training in Mississippi, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, a number of employers look for certification prior to 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 some states that do call for 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 important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To start with, let’s dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for some students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the Mississippi school is significant as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a 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 schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. 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 satisfies the state specific requirements for Mississippi or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs in Mississippi. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Mississippi local hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Mississippi school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, check with the Mississippi regulator or the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 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 comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the Mississippi schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Mississippi health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job 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 jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Mississippi healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it’s critical to verify that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends in Mississippi, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical 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 because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist College in Mississippi
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Mississippi.