How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech School near Buckeye AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Buckeye AZ is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, most students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Buckeye AZ labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Buckeye AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Buckeye AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Buckeye AZ students. As an added benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Buckeye AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able 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 frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Buckeye AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential 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 online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact several Buckeye AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, contact 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 phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Buckeye AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Buckeye AZ health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Buckeye AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Buckeye Arizona
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully research 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 best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Buckeye AZ.