How to Find the Right Phlebotomist School near Buckeye AZ
Picking the right phlebotomist school near Buckeye AZ is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Buckeye AZ laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Buckeye AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, many Buckeye AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
First, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed 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 may be a more convenient alternative for many Buckeye AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Buckeye AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example 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 quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Buckeye AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Buckeye AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out 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 length 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 (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care 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 are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Buckeye AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to 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 on a part-time basis, confirm 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 procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Buckeye Arizona
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each school 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 best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Buckeye AZ.