Choosing a Phlebotomy Training Program in Utah
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training in Utah is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many Utah phlebotomists in fact work in labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Utah hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training in Utah, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with 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 incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the key 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 phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To begin with, let’s resolve one possible misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for some students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the Utah campus is significant as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Utah or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools in Utah. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school 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 caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Utah area hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Utah school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with the Utah 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 phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the Utah colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Utah healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Utah medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends in Utah, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Find the Right Phlebotomy College in Utah
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Utah.