How to Select the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Buckeye AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Buckeye AZ is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately 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 laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Buckeye AZ laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Buckeye AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route 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 phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Buckeye AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical option for some Buckeye AZ students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Buckeye AZ medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Buckeye AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy 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 each of the colleges you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working 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 highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Buckeye AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Buckeye AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer 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 colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length 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 (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Buckeye AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Buckeye AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Buckeye AZ, make sure 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 study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Buckeye Arizona
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Buckeye AZ.