How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Bullhead City AZ
Picking the right phlebotomist training near Bullhead City AZ is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online schools 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 cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. 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 choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Bullhead City AZ laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Bullhead City AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Bullhead City AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the main 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be clinical 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-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for some Bullhead City AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Bullhead City AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Bullhead City AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Bullhead City AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Bullhead City AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Bullhead City AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to verify that the final college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bullhead City AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Bullhead City Arizona
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bullhead City AZ.