How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Bullhead City AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomy training near Bullhead City AZ is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation 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 evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Bullhead City AZ laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Bullhead City AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain 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 practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in most states, a number of Bullhead City AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the primary 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Bullhead City AZ students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the short answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Bullhead City AZ medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Bullhead City AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Bullhead City AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact some Bullhead City AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Bullhead City AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Bullhead City AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Bullhead City AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Bullhead City Arizona
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bullhead City AZ.