How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist School near Buckeye AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomist school near Buckeye AZ is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Buckeye AZ laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Buckeye AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working 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, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Buckeye AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the main certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Buckeye AZ students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician 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 comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Buckeye AZ medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type 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 significant if you will be commuting from Buckeye AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Buckeye AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with several Buckeye AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. 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 total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Buckeye AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Buckeye AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Buckeye AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Buckeye Arizona
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Buckeye AZ.