Selecting a Phlebotomist School in Oklahoma
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training in Oklahoma is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of Oklahoma phlebotomists in fact work in labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Oklahoma medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only 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 practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training in Oklahoma, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the main certifying organizations 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 phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To start with, let’s resolve one possible mistaken belief. 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 approved Oklahoma healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you choose 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 premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, 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 certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the Oklahoma campus is relevant as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to state? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Oklahoma or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, 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 is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools in Oklahoma. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Oklahoma local hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Oklahoma school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with the Oklahoma 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the Oklahoma schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Oklahoma health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage 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 an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Oklahoma medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s important to confirm that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends in Oklahoma, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Select the Best Phlebotomist School in Oklahoma
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Oklahoma.