Selecting a Phlebotomy Training Program near Waterloo Indiana
Picking the right phlebotomist school near Waterloo IN is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may 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 you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomist schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Waterloo IN area labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Waterloo IN hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at Waterloo IN community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Waterloo IN employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let’s resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Waterloo IN students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might 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 school is significant as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the Waterloo IN colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Indiana? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical 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 choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Indiana or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Waterloo IN job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start 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 rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Waterloo IN hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Indiana school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the Waterloo IN training program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with Waterloo IN medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Waterloo health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Waterloo IN medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s important to confirm that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Waterloo IN, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Waterloo IN?
Find the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Waterloo IN
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right program for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Waterloo IN.
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