How to Find the Right Phlebotomy School near Buckeye AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Buckeye AZ is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of students start their search by looking at 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 classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Buckeye AZ laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Buckeye AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Buckeye AZ 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Buckeye AZ students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality 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 best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Buckeye AZ as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Buckeye AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of 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 important to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. 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 screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Buckeye AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Buckeye AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer 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 large network of professional contacts within the Buckeye AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Buckeye AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Buckeye Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Buckeye AZ.