Picking a Phlebotomist Training Course near Westfield Indiana
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Westfield IN is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, most potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomist schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Westfield IN area laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Westfield IN medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at Westfield IN junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Westfield IN employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the primary certifying agencies 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 phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
First, let’s dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many Westfield IN students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked 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 significant as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the Westfield IN schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Indiana or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Westfield IN job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Westfield IN 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 Indiana school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the Westfield IN training program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with Westfield IN health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Westfield healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at provide 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 program has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Westfield IN health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it’s critical to verify that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Westfield IN, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Westfield IN?
Find the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Westfield IN
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a number of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Westfield IN.
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