How to Select the Right Phlebotomy School near Buckeye AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist school near Buckeye AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process too. 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 select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Buckeye AZ laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Buckeye AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and offers a general 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 phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more expansive 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, most Buckeye AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the curriculum 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. But since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many Buckeye AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Buckeye AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Buckeye AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several Buckeye AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Buckeye AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Buckeye AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Buckeye AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, 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 practical training requirement, make sure 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 due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Buckeye Arizona
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Buckeye AZ.