How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near Buckeye AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy training near Buckeye AZ is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply 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 prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Buckeye AZ labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Buckeye AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing 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 environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest 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 to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in most states, most Buckeye AZ employers look for certification before hiring 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as 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 supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part 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. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical option for some Buckeye AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Buckeye AZ medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Buckeye AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Buckeye AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Buckeye AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, check with 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. 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 practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Buckeye AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Buckeye AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to make sure that the final school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. 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 available at those times. Additionally, 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 completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Buckeye Arizona
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Buckeye AZ.