Selecting a Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Alton Illinois
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Alton IL is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, many students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We’ll discuss 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 phlebotomist training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab 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 Alton IL area laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Alton IL 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 young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with 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 specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at Alton IL junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, many Alton IL employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
- American Medical Technologists (AMT).
There are several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let’s resolve one likely misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for many Alton IL students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the Alton IL colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as 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 superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Alton IL job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Alton IL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Illinois school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the Alton IL training program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with Alton IL health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Alton healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high 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 substantial network of professional contacts within the Alton IL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s critical to confirm that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Alton IL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Alton IL?
Alton is a city on the Mississippi River in Madison County, Illinois, United States, about 15 miles (24 km) north of St. Louis, Missouri. The population was 27,865 at the 2010 census. It is a part of the Metro-East region of the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area. It is famous for its limestone bluffs along the river north of the city, for its role preceding and during the American Civil War, and as the hometown of jazz musician Miles Davis and Robert Wadlow, the tallest known person in history. It was the site of the last Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas debate in October 1858. The former state penitentiary here was used during the war to hold up to 12,000 Confederate prisoners of war.
Although Alton once was growing faster than its sister city of St. Louis, a coalition of St. Louis businessmen planned to build a competing town to stop its expansion and bring business to St. Louis. The result was Grafton, Illinois.
Many blocks of housing in Alton were built in the Victorian Queen Anne style; they represent a prosperous period in the river city's history. At the top of the hill in the commercial area, several stone churches and a fine city hall also represent the city's wealth during its good times based on river traffic and shipping. It was a commercial center for a large agricultural area. Numerous residences on hills have sweeping views of the Mississippi River.
The Alton area was home to Native Americans for thousands of years before the 19th-century founding by European Americans of the modern city. Historic accounts indicate occupation of this area by the Illiniwek or Illinois Confederacy at the time of European contact. Earlier native settlement is demonstrated by archaeological artifacts and the famous prehistoric Piasa bird painted on a cliff face nearby. The image was first written about in 1673 by French missionary priest Father Jacques Marquette.
Select the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Alton IL
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal program for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Alton IL.
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