How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Elmwood Park Illinois
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Elmwood Park IL is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to assess and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it’s important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, most students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide 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 before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?
First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. We will go into more depth later. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Elmwood Park IL medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Elmwood Park IL labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Elmwood Park IL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Elmwood Park IL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let’s dispel one likely misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial 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 completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Elmwood Park IL students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now 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 mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Elmwood Park IL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized 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 school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Elmwood Park IL job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some Elmwood Park IL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Illinois school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Elmwood Park IL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Elmwood Park IL health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it’s important to confirm that the final school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Elmwood Park IL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. 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 find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Part Time Phlebotomy Colleges Elmwood Park Illinois
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Part Time Phlebotomy Colleges and to get more information regarding Affordable Phlebotomist Programs. However, by asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Elmwood Park IL.
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Elmwood Park, Illinois
Elmwood Park is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 24,883 at the 2010 census. The community has long maintained a large Italian-American population, with a more recent influx of Polish-American and Hispanic residents.
Elmwood Park was incorporated as a village in early April 1914 in order to prevent annexation by the greater city of Chicago. Today one can still see evidence of a minority of landowners, or share farmers who voted for annexation to the city by the odd chunk taken out of Elmwood Park's northeast corner which kept the community from achieving a full square rectangular border.
At the turn of the Century urban dwellers would take the train westward out of the harsh concrete city for family picnics at the "Elm-Wood-Park", which was an ancient "Grove of majestic 180 year old Elms" found near 72nd Ave/Harlem and Irving Park road. Taking advantage of the park's provenance, a new cemetery was named Elmwood, while the closest train stop to both cemetery and park in unincorporated Marwood/Ellsworth became identified with the official name of "Elmwood Park". During the pressure era of incorporation a decade later, the village's founding representatives thought it most ideal to legally title the community after the stop, and after the namesake elm which is a native, locally evolved, riparian prairie "bottomland" tree species.
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