Choosing a Phlebotomy Technician Training Program in Kentucky
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician training in Kentucky is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll review a bit more about online schools 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 finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant 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 evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many Kentucky phlebotomists in fact work in labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Kentucky hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training in Kentucky, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, many employers look for certification before employing 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
First, let’s resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for many students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the Kentucky campus is significant as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Kentucky or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools in Kentucky. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact several Kentucky local hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Kentucky school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, check with the Kentucky regulator or the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the Kentucky colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Kentucky healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Kentucky medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s crucial to verify that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends in Kentucky, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even 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 should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Select the Ideal Phlebotomy Program in Kentucky
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a variety of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Kentucky.