How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Buckeye AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Buckeye AZ is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, most potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Buckeye AZ laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Buckeye AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Buckeye AZ employers require certification prior to employing 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Buckeye AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen 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 college is relevant if you will be commuting from Buckeye AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing 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 colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed 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 phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Buckeye AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Buckeye AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide 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 full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, contact 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Buckeye AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Buckeye AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true 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 certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Buckeye Arizona
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can vary slightly across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Buckeye AZ.