Picking a Phlebotomist Course in Nebraska
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy training in Nebraska is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most potential students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should 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 assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports 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. Many Nebraska phlebotomists actually work in laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Nebraska medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training in Nebraska, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route 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 phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in most states, most employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require 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 imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium 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 possible misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical option for some students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the Nebraska campus is relevant in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Nebraska or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools in Nebraska. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement 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 a few Nebraska area clinics or hospitals 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 Nebraska school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the Nebraska regulator or the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the Nebraska schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Nebraska medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Nebraska medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s critical to make sure that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends in Nebraska, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure 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 because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Ideal Phlebotomist School in Nebraska
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Nebraska.