How to Select the Right Phlebotomist School near Buckeye AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomist school near Buckeye AZ is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, most prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal function, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Buckeye AZ labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Buckeye AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed 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. Some of the key certifying agencies 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, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical option for many Buckeye AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. 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. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, 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 College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Buckeye AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Buckeye AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Buckeye AZ health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Buckeye AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
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Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Buckeye Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By addressing 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 training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Buckeye AZ.