Choosing a Phlebotomy Technician Course in Delaware
Selecting the right phlebotomy training in Delaware is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of Delaware phlebotomists in fact work in laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Delaware medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior 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 working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training in Delaware, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general 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 junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key certifying organizations 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To begin with, let’s dispel one likely misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion 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 completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for many students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may 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 Delaware school is important in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing 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 select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Delaware or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools in Delaware. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references 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 contact several Delaware area hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Delaware school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact the Delaware 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the Delaware colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Delaware healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Delaware health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it’s crucial to verify that the final college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends in Delaware, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Find the Right Phlebotomy Program in Delaware
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a variety of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Delaware.