Picking a Phlebotomy Training Course near Columbia Illinois
Selecting the right phlebotomy training near Columbia IL is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it’s necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, many potential students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes 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 much more to researching phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Columbia IL area labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Columbia IL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at Columbia IL community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Columbia IL employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the key certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
- American Medical Technologists (AMT).
There are several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you choose 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 Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let’s dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical 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. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Columbia IL students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (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 disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the Columbia IL programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Illinois? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working 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 complies with the state specific requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Columbia IL job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Columbia IL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Illinois school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the Columbia IL training program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with Columbia IL health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Columbia health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Columbia IL medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it’s crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Columbia IL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Columbia IL?
The first white settlers to come to the area of Columbia, Illinois, were Frenchmen in the mid-17th century. They named the area in which Columbia was founded L'Aigle, which is French for "The Eagle."
In the mid-18th century, the British took over the territory until the Revolutionary War forced them out of the area. The colonial American settlers soon arrived in the early 1780s and established the first permanent settlements in the area of Columbia, Fort Whiteside and Fort Piggott. Both frontier forts were of log construction and were used to protect the settlers against Indian raids.
Germans began immigrating to the area around 1833, with the majority coming in the 1840s. United States land agents had traveled to Germany to sell land to emigrating Germans. When the immigrants arrived in the United States, they traveled immediately to their own parcels of land.
Entering the United States through New Orleans, these Germans went up the Mississippi River to St. Louis, Missouri. They settled in the general region, including the Columbia area. The ground was not expensive, harvests were rich, and the climate was perfect for growing grain. German thrift, tenacity, and industriousness changed the character of Columbia from a pioneer settlement to a thriving community. The hard-working nature of the early immigrants had a direct influence on the town's present prosperity.
Find the Right Phlebotomy School near Columbia IL
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Columbia IL.
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