How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Buckeye AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near Buckeye AZ is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Buckeye AZ labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Buckeye AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older 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 practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means 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. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Buckeye AZ employers look for certification before hiring 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other 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 examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for some Buckeye AZ students. As an added benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain 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 choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Buckeye AZ medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general idea 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 intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Buckeye AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy 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 should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in 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 program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective 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 phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. 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 reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Buckeye AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Buckeye AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Buckeye AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Buckeye AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Buckeye Arizona
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into 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 an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Buckeye AZ.