Picking a Phlebotomy Training Program in Hawaii
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy school in Hawaii is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it’s important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, most potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll talk more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm 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 information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of Hawaii phlebotomists actually work in labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Hawaii medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training in Hawaii, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, most employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the primary 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To start with, let’s dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved Hawaii healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical option for some students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the Hawaii college is important in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an online phlebotomist school. 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. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to state? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Hawaii or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist 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 program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools in Hawaii. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Hawaii local clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Hawaii school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with the Hawaii 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 looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the Hawaii colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Hawaii health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Hawaii healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it’s important to verify that the ultimate school you choose provides 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 in Hawaii, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Select the Right Phlebotomy School in Hawaii
Making certain that you pick the most suitable 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 multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune 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 Hawaii.