Whether beginning a career or changing yours, there are few decisions more important than choosing where you’ll receive your training. To help, we’ve compiled the following six questions that are key to helping you make that decision.
1. Do you understand the significance of the field?
It isn’t a decision anyone should make likely. The simple fact that it’s a prominent healthcare role conveys as much. If that’s not enough, it’s also important to keep in mind that blood, in certain circumstances, can go from “life-giving” to “toxic substance” if a used needle with infected blood accidentally penetrates another person’s skin. It’s a risk you’ll share with every doctor, nurse, and related healthcare professional shares.
2. Do you appreciate the importance of the required confidentiality?
HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance, Portability, and Accountability Act. It helps govern privacy standards for healthcare information, placing an absolute premium on patient confidentiality. In your role as a phlebotomist, you’ll have access to some of the most important — and personal — information anyone can possess.
3. Have you identified a phlebotomy school established in its community?
Irrespective of the industry, a reliable way to identify the top organizations — those considered the leaders in their fields — is to look at their level of engagement. For a phlebotomy school:
- Are school graduates successful in finding phlebotomy jobs? Gainful employment is the leading reason for getting into phlebotomy.
- Has the school produced a notable number of graduates? Phlebotomy school graduates placed in rewarding roles in healthcare organizations throughout the region demonstrates a considerable level of effectiveness for the school at which they studied.
- Are externship opportunities available? In an internship, a student participates in a professional environment (such as an office) for school credit, a grade, and, typically, a wage. In an externship, the participant shadows someone in a professional environment to learn more about their job. An externship may last one day or several weeks. There’s no pay in an externship, but the earned experience is vital to success in the field.
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4. Is the school you’re considering respected in the field?
Receiving your training at a respected institution is undoubtedly a key differentiator in your job hunt. Do healthcare officials — some of whom might be responsible for hiring you in the not-too-distant future — know of and respect the graduates that come out of a particular school?
For example: In southeast Michigan, the Beaumont Health System is highly lauded for the level of medical care it provides patients. And officials within Beaumont hold Phlebotomy Training Center graduates in high esteem based on direct experience with them in the workplace. It’s something we take pride in and will continue working hard to preserve. It’s also something that might help you land your first, or next, job in the healthcare field.
5. Do you feel confident about the people who will be teaching you?
There’s more to an instructor or instructional designer than a name. Knowing that the professionals responsible for helping you become a phlebotomist have notable academic training and hands-on experience is essential. There’s no substitute for credentials and experience.
6. Does the school have the infrastructure to help you achieve your goals?
No one likes hitting a brick wall on their way to accomplishing their goals. That’s why it’s essential to identify a school with the staffing in place to personally support you. Do they have people who can answer your questions? Help you decide on courses, schedules, and certifications? In addition, you’ll want to find a training institution with a job board, job assistance, and career days to help you advance your career.
Ready for Your Single Step?
As the saying goes, “The longest journey begins with a single step.” That single two can take a lot of courage, though. Working through the questions presented here will help you pick your foot up; if you’re a little anxious about setting it down, we’re here for you. Contact us today. We’ll be happy to help you answer these and any other questions you have about the best way to begin your career in phlebotomy.