How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Bullhead City AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Bullhead City AZ is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to investigate 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, many prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit 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 variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Bullhead City AZ labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Bullhead City AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education along with 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 specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Bullhead City AZ employers look for certification before hiring 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, 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 offers a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed 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 part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for some Bullhead City AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Train to Be 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 already discussed, the short answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Bullhead City AZ medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required 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 interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Bullhead City AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Bullhead City AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Bullhead City AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount 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 less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Bullhead City AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most 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 healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to go to 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, 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 procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Bullhead City Arizona
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bullhead City AZ.