How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Tech School near Bullhead City AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Bullhead City AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, many prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Bullhead City AZ laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Bullhead City AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Bullhead City AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Bullhead City AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Bullhead City AZ medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Bullhead City AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working 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 select a phlebotomy 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 School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional 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 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 organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Bullhead City AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, 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 schools you are considering. 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 online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Bullhead City AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Bullhead City AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning 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 healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Bullhead City AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Bullhead City Arizona
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bullhead City AZ.