How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist School near Bullhead City AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Bullhead City AZ is an important initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, many students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables 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 supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Bullhead City AZ laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Bullhead City AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Bullhead City AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the primary 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, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy 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 Phlebotomy Schools
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Bullhead City AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen 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 school is important if you will be commuting from Bullhead City AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Bullhead City AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact some Bullhead City AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide 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 Enough Training Included? First, check with 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Bullhead City AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Bullhead City AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Bullhead City AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. 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 policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Bullhead City Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary slightly 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 must thoroughly research and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bullhead City AZ.