How to Find the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Buckeye AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist school near Buckeye AZ is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should 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 pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Buckeye AZ labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Buckeye AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy 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 provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Buckeye AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for some Buckeye AZ students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Buckeye AZ medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
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 might have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Buckeye AZ as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Buckeye AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous 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 imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Buckeye AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Buckeye AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Buckeye AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Buckeye AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Buckeye Arizona
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a variety of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Buckeye AZ.