Choosing a Phlebotomy School in Oregon
Choosing the right phlebotomy training in Oregon is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, most potential students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of Oregon phlebotomists in fact work in laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Oregon hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training in Oregon, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, many employers require certification prior to hiring 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
First, let’s dispel 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 performed either in an approved Oregon healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the Oregon campus is important in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Oregon or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges in Oregon. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Oregon local clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Oregon school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, contact the Oregon regulator or the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length 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 clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the Oregon schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Oregon healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Oregon medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s critical to make sure that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends in Oregon, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Find the Ideal Phlebotomy Course in Oregon
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each college before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Oregon.