Picking a Phlebotomy Technician School near Waterloo Iowa
Choosing the right phlebotomy school near Waterloo IA is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most prospective students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll discuss 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 closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose 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 schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check 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 filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some Waterloo IA phlebotomists in fact work in laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Waterloo IA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training in Waterloo IA, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
First, let’s dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved Waterloo IA healthcare facility or an on-campus lab|an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility}. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for some students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked 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 Iowa college is significant in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the Waterloo IA schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working 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 phlebotomy program that complies with 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 school and program you choose 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 many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges in Waterloo IA. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the 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 some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place 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 also talk to some Waterloo IA local clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Iowa school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, check with the Iowa regulator or 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. At a minimum, any Waterloo IA phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the Iowa schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Waterloo IA health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Waterloo IA healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to confirm that the final school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Waterloo IA, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?When preparing to interview for a Phlebotomy Tech job, it's helpful to consider questions you could be asked. Among the things that recruiters typically ask Phlebotomy Tech candidates is "What drove you to choose Phlebotomy as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming Phlebotomy Tech, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to Phlebotomy, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to organize some strategies about how you would like to address them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an exceptional Phlebotomy Tech and the best choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Select the Right Phlebotomist School near Waterloo IA
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Waterloo IA.
Learn About Waterloo Iowa
Waterloo is a city in and the county seat of Black Hawk County, Iowa, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census the population decreased by 0.5% to 68,406; the 2014 Census estimates the population at 68,364, making it the sixth-largest city in the state. The city is part of the Waterloo – Cedar Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area, and is the more populous of the two cities.
Waterloo was originally known as Prairie Rapids Crossing. The town was established near two Meskwaki American tribal seasonal camps alongside the Cedar River. It was first settled in 1845 when George and Mary Melrose Hanna and their children arrived on the east bank of the Red Cedar River (now just called the Cedar River). They were followed by the Virden and Mullan families in 1846. Evidence of these earliest families can still be found in the street names Hanna Boulevard, Mullan Avenue and Virden Creek.
On December 8, 1845, the Iowa State Register and Waterloo Herald was the first newspaper published in Waterloo.
The name "Waterloo" supplanted the original name, "Prairie Rapids Crossing," shortly after Charles Mullan petitioned for a post office in the town. Since the signed petition did not include the name of the proposed post office location, Mullan was charged with selecting the name when he submitted the petition. Tradition has it that as he flipped through a list of other post offices in the United States, he came upon the name "Waterloo." The name struck his fancy, and on December 29, 1851, a post office was established under that name. The town was later called the same, and Mullan served as the first postmaster from December 29, 1851 until August 11, 1854.
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