Picking a Phlebotomist Course in Wisconsin
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician training in Wisconsin is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, most students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk 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 such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed 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 tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many Wisconsin phlebotomists in fact work in laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Wisconsin medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training in Wisconsin, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many employers look for certification before employing 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
First, let’s resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved Wisconsin healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the Wisconsin campus is significant as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering 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 call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Wisconsin or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges in Wisconsin. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Wisconsin local clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Wisconsin school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the Wisconsin 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 phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the Wisconsin schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Wisconsin healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide 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 together with a large network of professional contacts within the Wisconsin health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s crucial to verify that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends in Wisconsin, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Course in Wisconsin
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary slightly across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Wisconsin.