Choosing a Phlebotomy Technician School near West Point Iowa
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near West Point IA is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it’s necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, most students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to researching phlebotomist training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will provide 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 resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in West Point IA area laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as West Point IA hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at West Point IA junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many West Point IA employers require certification before employing technicians. Some 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let’s resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for some West Point IA students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the West Point IA programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Iowa or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the West Point IA job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to several West Point 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 check with the Iowa school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the West Point IA training program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with West Point IA health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local West Point medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the West Point IA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s crucial to make sure that the final program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near West Point IA, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near West Point IA?
West Point, Iowa
As of the census of 2010, there were 966 people, 432 households, and 267 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,583.6 inhabitants per square mile (611.4/km2). There were 452 housing units at an average density of 741.0 per square mile (286.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 99.1% White, 0.3% African American, 0.1% Asian, and 0.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.9% of the population.
There were 432 households of which 26.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.6% were married couples living together, 6.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 38.2% were non-families. 33.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.71.
The median age in the city was 44.2 years. 20.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.6% were from 25 to 44; 26.3% were from 45 to 64; and 22.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.2% male and 52.8% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 980 people, 426 households, and 264 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,687.8 people per square mile (652.4/km²). There were 450 housing units at an average density of 775.0 per square mile (299.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 99.90% White, 0.10% from other races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.51% of the population.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy School near West Point IA
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a wide range of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in West Point IA.
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