Selecting a Phlebotomist Course in Idaho
Picking the right phlebotomy technician school in Idaho is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, many potential students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of Idaho phlebotomists in fact work in labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Idaho medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training in Idaho, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior 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 completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of employers require certification before employing 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 in order to practice 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 offers a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let’s dispel one likely misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the Idaho school is significant as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Idaho or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose 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 several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges in Idaho. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Idaho local hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Idaho school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with the Idaho regulator or the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist 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 less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the Idaho schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Idaho medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Idaho health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it’s crucial to confirm that the final program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends in Idaho, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify 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 should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Program in Idaho
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Idaho.