How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Bullhead City AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician school near Bullhead City AZ is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools 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 including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify 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. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point 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 can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Bullhead City AZ laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Bullhead City AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Bullhead City AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the primary certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the course of study 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-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for many Bullhead City AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make certain 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 clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen 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. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, 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 requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Bullhead City AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Bullhead City AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample 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. As 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 below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Bullhead City AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Bullhead City AZ medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending 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 on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Bullhead City Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bullhead City AZ.