How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Pittsfield Illinois
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Pittsfield IL is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, many prospective students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially 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 schools later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to 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 continue our conversation about online schools.
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Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The basic definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. We will go into more depth later. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Pittsfield IL medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. 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 Pittsfield IL laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Pittsfield IL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working 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 samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 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 basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Pittsfield IL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
First, let’s dispel one possible misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Pittsfield IL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Pittsfield IL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Pittsfield IL job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Pittsfield IL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Illinois school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact 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 phlebotomy 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 below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Pittsfield IL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most 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 Pittsfield IL health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s critical to make sure that the final college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Pittsfield IL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical 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 illness or emergencies.
Best Phlebotomy Associates Degrees Pittsfield Illinois
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each college before making your final decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Best Phlebotomy Associates Degrees and to get more information regarding Phlebotomy Program. However, by asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Pittsfield IL.
More Illinois Bloody Wonderful Locations
Pittsfield was initially settled by settlers from New England. These settlers were of old Yankee stock, that is to say they were descended from the English Puritans who had founded and settled New England in the 1600s. A group of settlers from Pittsfield, Massachusetts headed west and settled this region of Illinois in 1820. When they arrived the area was a virgin wilderness, they constructed farms, roads and government buildings. Pittsfield was home to John Hay, Lincoln's personal secretary, ambassador to England under President William McKinley, later Secretary of State for Theodore Roosevelt and creator of the Open Door Policy. As county seat, the town was one of the various places in central Illinois where Abraham Lincoln practiced law as part of the circuit court, working on 34 cases between 1839 and 1852. One local newspaper, now known as the Pike Press, was then owned by another of Lincoln's future secretaries, John Nicolay, and featured an editorial containing one of the first known suggestions of Lincoln as the Republican nominee for the presidency.
Pittsfield is the self-proclaimed "Pork Capital" of the Midwest, owing to the long history of pork production in the region, which fed into the large meat-packing industry of Chicago. Though agriculture in the region is no longer so dependent on pork, the town still hosts a yearly "Pig Days" festival.
The local high school football team, the Saukees, still holds the record for longest winning streak in the state, and the 21st longest in the country. Starting with their season opening 6-0 win over North Greene in 1966, the Pittsfield Saukees reeled off 64 consecutive wins, which included 15 straight shutouts between 1969 and 1971. In 1970, the team outscored their opponents 341-0 and allowed negative rushing yards for the season. The streak extended all the way through to the second game of the 1973 season, when Pittsfield dropped a 12-0 decision to Winchester, Illinois.