Selecting a Phlebotomist Training Program near Chicago Illinois
Choosing the right phlebotomist school near Chicago IL is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are considering to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Chicago IL area laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Chicago IL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at Chicago IL community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Chicago IL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the main 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, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To start with, let’s dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical option for some Chicago IL students. As an added benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the Chicago IL colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select 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 school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Chicago IL job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer 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 as well. You can even check with a few Chicago IL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Illinois school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the Chicago IL training program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with Chicago IL healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Chicago medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Chicago IL health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s critical to make sure that the final college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Chicago IL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Chicago IL?
Chicago (/ʃɪˈkɑːɡoʊ/ ( listen), locally also /-ˈkɔː-/), officially the City of Chicago, is the third most populous city in the United States, after New York City and Los Angeles. With over 2.7 million residents, it is also the most populous city in both the state of Illinois and the Midwestern United States. It is the county seat of Cook County. The Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland, has nearly 10 million people and is the third-largest in the United States. It is the birthplace of the skyscraper and perhaps the most influential architectural city of the 20th century. Chicago saw the creation of the first standardized futures contracts at the Chicago Board of Trade; today its successor has evolved into the largest and most diverse derivatives market in the world, generating 20% of all volume in commodities and financial futures.
Chicago was incorporated as a city in 1837 near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed and grew rapidly in the mid-nineteenth century. After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which destroyed several square miles and left more than 100,000 homeless, the city made a concerted effort to rebuild. The construction boom accelerated population growth throughout the following decades, and by 1900 Chicago was one of the five largest cities in the world. During this period, Chicago made noted contributions to urban planning and zoning standards, which included creating new construction styles (including the Chicago School of architecture), the development of the City Beautiful Movement, and the steel-framed skyscraper.
Positioned along Lake Michigan, the city is an international hub for finance, commerce, industry, technology, telecommunications, and transportation. O'Hare International Airport is the one of the busiest airports in the world, and the region also has the largest number of U.S. highways and railroad freight. In 2012, Chicago was listed as an alpha global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, and it ranked seventh in the entire world in the 2017 Global Cities Index. Chicago has the fourth-largest gross metropolitan product in the world—about $670.5 billion according to September 2017 estimates-ranking it after the metropolitan areas of Tokyo, New York City, and Los Angeles, and ranking ahead of London and Paris. The city has one of the world's largest and most diversified and balanced economies; not dependent on any one industry, with no single industry employing more than 14% of the workforce.
Chicago was the second most visited city in the United States with 55 million domestic and international visitors, behind the estimated 62.8 million tourists to New York City in 2017. The city ranked first place in the 2018 Time Out City Life Index, a global quality of life survey of 15,000 people in 32 cities. Landmarks in the city include Millennium Park, Navy Pier, the Magnificent Mile, the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum Campus, the Willis (Sears) Tower, the Museum of Science and Industry, and Lincoln Park Zoo. Chicago's culture includes the visual arts, literature, film, theater (especially improvisational comedy), food, and music, particularly jazz, blues, soul, hip-hop, gospel, and house music. There are many colleges and universities in the Chicago area, of which the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago are classified as "highest research" doctoral universities.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy College near Chicago IL
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Chicago IL.
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