How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Buckeye AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Buckeye AZ is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain 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 might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing 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 as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point 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 can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Buckeye AZ labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Buckeye AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Buckeye AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the principal 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Buckeye AZ students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on 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 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 phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable 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 program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Buckeye AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Buckeye AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer 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 schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not provided 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 Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Buckeye AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Buckeye AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Buckeye Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Buckeye AZ.