Choosing a Phlebotomy Training Program in Wyoming
Selecting the right phlebotomist school in Wyoming is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, most students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Some Wyoming phlebotomists actually work in labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Wyoming 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 young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training in Wyoming, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest 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. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the primary 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let’s resolve one potential misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the course of study 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 completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for some students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college 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 receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the Wyoming campus is significant as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Wyoming or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in 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 program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges in Wyoming. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the job market.
What is the School’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 investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Wyoming local clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Wyoming school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, check with the Wyoming 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the Wyoming colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Wyoming medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Wyoming medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s critical to make sure that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends in Wyoming, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Select the Ideal Phlebotomist School in Wyoming
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Wyoming.