Picking a Phlebotomist School in Connecticut
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician school in Connecticut is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to assess and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it’s necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, most potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We’ll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. A number of Connecticut phlebotomists in fact work in laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Connecticut hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular 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 working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training in Connecticut, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let’s dispel one likely misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved Connecticut healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now 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 selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the Connecticut school is significant as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need 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 Connecticut or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs in Connecticut. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Connecticut area clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Connecticut school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, check with the Connecticut regulator or 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 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 may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the Connecticut programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Connecticut health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Connecticut healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s crucial to verify that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends in Connecticut, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Select the Ideal Phlebotomy Program in Connecticut
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Connecticut.