How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Bullhead City AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomy school near Bullhead City AZ is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially 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 talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will supply 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 before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out 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 tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Bullhead City AZ labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Bullhead City AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education along with 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 exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, many Bullhead City AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few 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, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum 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 component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Bullhead City AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Should You Choose a Career as 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 basic definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Bullhead City AZ medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Bullhead City AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very 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 prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Bullhead City AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to 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 refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Bullhead City AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask 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 submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? 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 reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Bullhead City AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Bullhead City AZ medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to 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, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Bullhead City Arizona
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bullhead City AZ.