How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Waterloo IA is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, most prospective students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal function, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Waterloo IA laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Waterloo IA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Waterloo IA employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the key 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
First, let’s dispel one possible misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Waterloo IA students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Waterloo IA in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Iowa or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Waterloo IA job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Waterloo IA clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Iowa school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Waterloo IA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Waterloo IA healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s crucial to confirm that the final program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Waterloo IA, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Attending Phlebotomy Training near Waterloo Iowa?
If you have decided to enroll in a Phlebotomy School in the Waterloo IA area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your future school campus.
Waterloo is a city in and the county seat of Black Hawk County, Iowa, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census the population decreased by 0.5% to 68,406; the 2016 Census estimates the population at 67,934, making it the sixth-largest city in the state. The city is part of the Waterloo – Cedar Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area, and is the more populous of the two cities.
Waterloo was originally known as Prairie Rapids Crossing. The town was established near two Meskwaki American tribal seasonal camps alongside the Cedar River. It was first settled in 1845 when George and Mary Melrose Hanna and their children arrived on the east bank of the Red Cedar River (now just called the Cedar River). They were followed by the Virden and Mullan families in 1846. Evidence of these earliest families can still be found in the street names Hanna Boulevard, Mullan Avenue and Virden Creek.
The name Waterloo supplanted the original name, Prairie Rapids Crossing, shortly after Charles Mullan petitioned for a post office in the town. Since the signed petition did not include the name of the proposed post office location, Mullan was charged with selecting the name when he submitted the petition. Tradition has it that as he flipped through a list of other post offices in the United States, he came upon the name Waterloo. The name struck his fancy, and on December 29, 1851, a post office was established under that name. The town was later called the same, and Mullan served as the first postmaster from December 29, 1851 until August 11, 1854.
Find the Best Phlebotomy College near Waterloo IA
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each program before making your final decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Local Phlebotomy Classes. However, by addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Waterloo IA.
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