How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Bullhead City AZ
Picking the right phlebotomist training near Bullhead City AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening 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 Bullhead City AZ laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Bullhead City AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Bullhead City AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted 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 component of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Bullhead City AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Bullhead City AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Bullhead City AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. 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 research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Bullhead City AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Bullhead City AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Bullhead City AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Bullhead City AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Bullhead City Arizona
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bullhead City AZ.