Selecting a Phlebotomy School in Ohio
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy training in Ohio is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, most potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision 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 select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory 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. A number of Ohio phlebotomists in fact work in labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Ohio medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training in Ohio, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means 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 to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, most employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main 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 require 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 choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
First, let’s dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant 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. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, 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 certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the Ohio college is significant as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a program or school. 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 colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Ohio or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools in Ohio. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Ohio 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 Ohio school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact the Ohio 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 classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist 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 less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the Ohio schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Ohio health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Ohio medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s critical to confirm that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends in Ohio, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Ideal Phlebotomist Program in Ohio
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary slightly across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Ohio.