How to Select the Right Phlebotomy School near Buckeye AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near Buckeye AZ is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, most students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Buckeye AZ laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Buckeye AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing 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 drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education together with 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, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When 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 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for some Buckeye AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition 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 needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Buckeye AZ medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Buckeye AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, 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. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Buckeye AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Buckeye AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask 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 colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? 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 classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Buckeye AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Buckeye AZ health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend 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, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Buckeye Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Buckeye AZ.