Choosing a Phlebotomy Technician School near West des Moines Iowa
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near West des Moines IA is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it’s important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are considering to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in West des Moines IA area labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as West des Moines IA medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at West des Moines IA community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of West des Moines IA employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To begin with, let’s dispel one potential misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for many West des Moines IA students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the West des Moines IA colleges you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Iowa? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Iowa or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the West des Moines IA job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to some West des Moines IA hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Iowa school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the West des Moines IA training program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with West des Moines IA healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local West des Moines medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at 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 positions, it’s an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the West des Moines IA health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it’s critical to verify that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near West des Moines IA, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near West des Moines IA?
West Des Moines, Iowa
West Des Moines is a city in Polk, Dallas, and Warren counties in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 56,609. West Des Moines is the second-largest city in the Des Moines metropolitan area and the tenth-largest city in Iowa. It ranked 94th in Money magazine's list of the "100 Best Places to Live and Launch" in 2008, 77th and 57th on the 100 Best Places to Live in 2014 and 2015, respectively, and 18th on the Hipster Cities of 2015.
The West Des Moines area used to be home to the Sac and Fox tribes. Near the stroke of midnight on October 11, 1845 a gunshot was fired by a cattle farmer, James Cunningham Jordan (1813–1893) and the tribes left. His residence, the Jordan House, has been restored and is now home to the West Des Moines Historical Society. In West Des Moines' early years, the town was a trading and shipping junction. West Des Moines incorporated as the city of Valley Junction on October 9, 1893.
In its early days Valley Junction was home to the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad's switching facilities and repair shops due to its location at the junction of several railroad lines. The Rock Island's facilities moved out of Valley Junction and back into Des Moines in 1936.
The speed limit of ten miles (16 km) an hour had existed in Valley Junction since 1911 for all automobiles. But in 1915 an Englishman named Jack Prince built a one-mile (1.6 km) oval race track, designed to let race cars break that speed limit ten times over. The wooden track was made of 980,000 feet (300,000 m) of 2x4's laid on edge. It was one of 24 such tracks nationwide; with seating for over 10,000 people. On August 7, 1915, the eyes of the auto world were on Valley Junction in anticipation of the fastest 300-mile (480 km) auto race in history. Ralph DePalma, winner of the Indianapolis 500 that year, was one of at least a dozen drivers vying for the $10,000 purse. Before a crowd of 7,000 people, a tire blew, lunging Joe Cooper's car over the rail. Cooper was killed and his mechanic was injured. Later while rounding a curb, a wheel of Billy Chandler's Duesenberg failed, cartwheeling the car into the infield and fatally injuring his mechanic, Maurice Keeler. Chandler was seriously injured. Smiling Ralph Mulford won the race with DePalma a close 2nd. This baptism by blood left a bad taste in the mouth of the locals, and the track was closed two years later. The wood was salvaged and then used to construct buildings in Valley Junction.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist College near West des Moines IA
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each program before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in West des Moines IA.
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