How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist School
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Waukon IA is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk more about online classes later in this article. What’s important 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 decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The basic answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. We will provide more details later. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Waukon IA medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Waukon IA labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Waukon IA medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides 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 include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, most Waukon IA employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let’s dispel one possible misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical option for some Waukon IA students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Waukon IA in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final 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 a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Iowa or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, 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 financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Waukon IA job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Waukon IA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Iowa school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Waukon IA healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Waukon IA medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it’s crucial to verify that the final college you select offers 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 at night or on weekends near Waukon IA, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Phlebotomist Courses Online Waukon Iowa
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomist Courses Online and to get more information regarding How To Choose Phlebotomist Schools. However, by addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Waukon IA.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Iowa
Waukon is a city in Makee Township, Allamakee County, Iowa, United States, and the county seat of Allamakee County. The population was 3,897 at the 2010 census. It is home to the annual Allamakee County Fair.
Waukon is often said to be named for Waukon Decorah, a Ho Chunk (Winnebago) leader who was a U.S. ally during the 1832 Black Hawk War, although the city is also said to be named for his son Chief John Waukon. Winnebagos lived in this area of Iowa in the 1840s, before being forced to relocate to Minnesota.
The first white settler arrived in 1849, and the town was founded and the Waukon Post Office opened in 1853. A court house was completed in 1861, and the county seat was moved to Waukon in 1867 after 8 elections attempting to decide the location of the county seat. The town was incorporated in 1883.