How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Buckeye AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Buckeye AZ is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Buckeye AZ laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Buckeye AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Buckeye AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the key certifying organizations 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Buckeye AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked 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 college is significant if you will be commuting from Buckeye AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. 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 preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee 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 earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Buckeye AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Buckeye AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Buckeye AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Buckeye AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Buckeye AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Buckeye Arizona
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each college before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Buckeye AZ.