Picking a Phlebotomy School in Nevada
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician training in Nevada is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it’s vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating 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.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time 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 may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of Nevada phlebotomists in fact work in laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Nevada hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working 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 mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training in Nevada, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides 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 include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most employers look for certification prior to 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
First, let’s dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum 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 completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the Nevada college is significant as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomist school. All 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 each of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements 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 performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Nevada or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges in Nevada. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In a number of 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 important to check 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 internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Nevada local hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Nevada school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact the Nevada regulator or the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish 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 provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the Nevada schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Nevada medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Nevada healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it’s important to verify that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends in Nevada, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. 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 in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Course in Nevada
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Nevada.