Choosing a Phlebotomy Technician School in New York
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school in New York is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, most students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby 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 checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. 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. Some New York phlebotomists actually work in labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as New York medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind 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 working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training in New York, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education as well as 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, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, most employers require 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To begin with, let’s dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed 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 counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the New York school is significant in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for New York or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs in New York. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal 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 out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact some New York local hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the New York school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, contact the New York regulator or the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the New York schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local New York health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the New York health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s crucial to confirm that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends in New York, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Find the Best Phlebotomy Program in New York
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully research 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 select the best program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in New York.