Selecting a Phlebotomy Technician Training Program in New Hampshire
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training in New Hampshire is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it’s important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most prospective students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. 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 choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some New Hampshire phlebotomists actually work in laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including New Hampshire hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training in New Hampshire, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, most employers look for certification before employing 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let’s resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the New Hampshire college is relevant as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for New Hampshire or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs in New Hampshire. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to some New Hampshire area hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the New Hampshire school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the New Hampshire regulator or the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the New Hampshire colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local New Hampshire health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at 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 an extensive network of professional contacts within the New Hampshire medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s critical to confirm that the final program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends in New Hampshire, check that they are offered 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 clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Course in New Hampshire
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in New Hampshire.