How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Bullhead City AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near Bullhead City AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, most prospective students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Bullhead City AZ labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Bullhead City AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working 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 collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Bullhead City AZ employers look for certification before hiring 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component 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. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical option for some Bullhead City AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you intend 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. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential 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 quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools 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 placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Bullhead City AZ clinics or hospitals that you might 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 filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Bullhead City AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Bullhead City AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Bullhead City AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Bullhead City Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each college before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bullhead City AZ.