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Phlebotomy

Mission Statement

Weatherford College Phlebotomy Technology seeks to train entry-level phlebotomists according to Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute Guidelines and the Accepted Standard of Care in the Phlebotomy Profession. Our graduates will be medical professionals ready to serve in clinical laboratories or blood collection sites with appropriate skill levels and the theoretical and practical laboratory experience to be exemplary employees. The Program strives to maintain a student oriented learning opportunity while respecting diversity and individual dignity. Our didactic training aims for academic excellence. Laboratory experience integrates clinical skills with the latest technology. Graduates earn a certificate, and are prepared to challenge the American Society of Clinical Pathology Registry.

Program Objectives

The Phlebotomy Technician Course is designed to provide students with:

  • The technical skills needed to competently and safely collect and handle blood specimens from a variety of patients.
  • The interpersonal skills needed to interact with others.
  • The knowledge base needed to pass national certification exams.
  • An introduction to health care professions with emphasis on clinical laboratory science.
  • Earn certification from a NAACLS Approved Phlebotomy Program
  • Venipuncture Competency according to CLSI guidelines

Program Goals

Upon Completion of this Program the Student will Successfully:

  • Outline the structure of the health care delivery system, the roles and responsibilities of healthcare personnel, and communicate using accurate medical terminology.
  • Practice infection control and safety.
  • Comprehend basic understanding of the anatomy and physiology of body systems.
  • Differentiate the major laboratory departments and laboratory staff and correlate laboratory testing with diagnosis and treatment regimes.
  • Elucidate and practice correct specimen collection in the laboratory and in Point of Care testing.
  • Exhibit mastery of the varieties of collection equipment and safety devices, test tubes and the various types of additives.
  • Demonstrate proper techniques to perform venipuncture and capillary puncture according to CLSI Guidelines. Recognize importance of accurate collection to the patient and physician.
  • Discuss preanalytical errors that can significantly alter results and how to avoid them.
  • Interpret test requisitions accurately and select the correct tubes/containers. Correctly handle the specimen with regard to volume collected, handling, processing, and transport.
  • Practice Quality Assurance in phlebotomy. Perform Quality Control, record results, troubleshoot and consult supervisor with unexpected findings.
  • Perform Phlebotomy using the Accepted Standard of Care exhibiting professional behavior and cognizant of the legal implications of the work environment.
  • Value Customer Service at all times, even under duress, and include co-workers in this Quality Concept. Able to communicate effectively and work as a team player in stressful conditions.
  • Apply scientific techniques and methods when learning new techniques and procedures.
  • Recognize the importance and the availability of Phlebotomy Continuing Education to maintain and enhance professionalism.

Program Description

The Weatherford College Phlebotomy Program trains students to become professional phlebotomists through lecture, laboratory, and clinical experiences to ensure competency and to provide the necessary background to pass a national registry examination. The students are taught to perform a variety of blood collection methods using proper techniques and precautions on adults, children and infants, including: vacuum collection devices, syringes, capillary skin puncture, butterfly needles and blood culture specimen collection. Emphasis is placed on correct patient identification, accurate labeling of specimens, and proper use of safety devices. Students learn specimen handling, processing and accessioning. Laboratory exercises include the theory and principles of CLIA waived laboratory tests and performance of the tests in the student laboratory. Testing performed includes: ESR, urinalysis dipsticks, fecal occult blood, urine drug screen collection and testing, pregnancy testing, and blood smear preparation. Students are also trained in blood borne pathogens, laboratory safety, medical terminology, basic anatomy and physiology, HIPAA privacy guidelines, ethics and legal issues, and forensic collections.

The study of Phlebotomy involves not only proficiency and knowledge of venipuncture, but also a variety of scientific, ethical, and legal topics. Phlebotomists play a critical role in laboratories, collection facilities, or blood donor centers. Phlebotomomy students also learn essential skills that help in a variety of other medical fields including Nursing, Clinical Laboratory, Medical Doctor, Physician's Assistant, Nurse Practitioner, Respiratory Therapy, and Radiology/Sonography.

Program Timeline

The course lasts one semester and is divided equally between lecture/laboratory (96 hours) and clinical rotations (192 hours). A certificate is awarded upon successful course completion. At this time the student may challenge the American Society of Clinical Pathology Registry. Certificate award is not contingent on passing the ASCP or any other Registry Examination.

Funding

Continuing Education and ALHE students are eligible for TPEG funding. ALHE Students may use their financial aid if they are a General Studies major, have taken the 3-Part Compass, intend to pursue a 2 or 4 year degree, and still have remaining electives to take. Filling out a FASFA Form online is a good place to get started for financial aid, including TPEG, PELL Grants, and scholarships.

Employment Opportunities

There is currently a demand for phlebotomists in the Fort Worth Metroplex Region and nearby counties. The average pay range is $10-17/hour; average $12.00/hour. Shift differential for second and third shifts, as well as holidays, increases the pay rate.  

Program Notes

  • Phlebotomy Classes are held three times yearly: Summer, Fall, and Spring.
  • We meet 2 times weekly in the Fall & Spring, usually on Tuesday and Thursday, from 9 - 3:20 p.m., for half of the semester. This is the laboratory/lecture portion. We cover many topics, including Medical Professionalism, Confidentiality, Legal Issues, as well as Venipuncture and Dermal puncture. Students practice on the stick arms, on each other, and optionally at health fairs. Students also perform waived laboratory testing.
  • The second half of the semester students go to Clinical Rotations in the Decatur, Bridgeport, Weatherford, Fort Worth, Stephenville, Glen Rose, and Granbury area. Summer students rotate 32 hrs/week; Spring & Fall students rotate 24 hrs/week.
  • The Fall and Spring semesters are approximately 16 weeks long, so each portion of the curriculum lasts about 8 weeks.
  • In the Summer semester we meet 3 times weekly, from 9 - 3:20 p.m., usually M T W, for the Lab/Lecture curricula. Clinical Rotations follow. Each half of the curriculum lasts approximately 6 weeks, for a total of 12 weeks.
  • We will have occasional 8:00 a.m. meeting to cover Special Topics in Phlebotomy. This is a hybrid class with face-to-face and online components.
  • Phlebotomy Technology articulates into the Tarleton State University Division of Clinical Laboratory Sciences Medical Laboratory Technician Program MLAB 282. (See TSU link)
  • The class is a lot of fun, and a good way to begin a medical career, or a good platform on which to work into other medical fields.
  • All students will learn Venipuncture according to the Accepted Standard of Care.
  • Graduation Rate for 2012 was 99.9%.
  • ASCP Certification: National Mean Score was 522; Weatherford College Program Mean Score was 531.

National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences

5600 N. River Rd. • Suite 720 • Rosemont, IL  60018-5119
847-939-3597 • 773-714-8880 • FAX: 773-714-8886
info@naacls.org