How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Bullhead City AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Bullhead City AZ is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. 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 classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating 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 as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Bullhead City AZ laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Bullhead City AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely 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 collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two 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 basic education as well as 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 specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Bullhead City AZ employers look for certification prior to employing 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Bullhead City AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Bullhead City AZ medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably 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 interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right profession for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Bullhead City AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting 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 all of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Bullhead City AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, 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 looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Bullhead City AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, contact 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Bullhead City AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Bullhead City AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Bullhead City AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study 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 because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Bullhead City Arizona
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bullhead City AZ.