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WNCC Phlebotomy Program Receives NAACLS Accreditation

September 19, 2013

Students completing the program will have distinct advantage over graduates from other area colleges

The Western Nebraska Community College Phlebotomy Technician and Medical Laboratory Assistant Certificate Program has been awarded the highest accreditation through The National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), offering those who complete the coursework continued excellence in hands-on training. 

"Being NAACLS-approved offers our students two distinct advantages. First students have confidence they will receive a high-caliber education," Rex Famitangco, Phlebotomy Technician and Medical Laboratory Assistant Program Director at WNCC. "Secondly as graduates from a NAACLS-approved program, our students have the option of taking any of the national certification exams. Completing this certification examination puts our students at incredible advantage over students from other programs."

The WNCC certificate program is designed to provide quality instruction by preparing students with skills necessary to obtain quality laboratory specimens, technical knowledge required to pass the national certification exam and join a healthcare team. 

Students begin with online instruction combined with laboratory time, followed by clinical rotations. During online instruction, students gain knowledge in the history, theory, principles and step-by-step instruction on how to safely perform specimen collection, specimen preparation and waived testing. In the laboratory setting, students get hands-on training with equipment found at hospitals and physician office laboratories. 

In the clinical component, students gain work experience under the supervision of a certified laboratory professional. The length of this component varies with each individual. Once both components are completed the student receives a certificate of completion.    

Famitangco says the state of Nebraska currently has no governmental regulations ensuring quality education in the clinical laboratory profession, meaning vast differences among the schools that provide an education in phlebotomy and medical laboratory assisting. He adds, what sets WNCC apart is that both the phlebotomy technician and medical laboratory assistant programs are approved by NAACLS. 

The accreditation process takes a critical look at program outcomes and gets guidelines for what the experience and educational background of the instructor and program director must be, as well as what type of facility the program can be taught in. Programs wishing to become accredited must ensure they meet the standards set by NAACLS. WNCC's PBT & MLA Programs are also affiliated with the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI), National Healthcare Association (NHA) and American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).    

"Our rigorous didactic program prepares graduates for both the American Society Clinical Pathologist certification exam as well as the American Medical Technologists certification," saysFamitangco. "Certification serves as a symbol of commitment to the highest standards of the profession and to quality patient care."