How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Bullhead City AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Bullhead City AZ is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might 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 you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Bullhead City AZ labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Bullhead City AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw 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 working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish 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 provides the fastest route 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 on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Bullhead City AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the key certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for many Bullhead City AZ students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Bullhead City AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school 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 many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium 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 previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available 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 College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin 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 ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact some Bullhead City AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested 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 full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Bullhead City AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Bullhead City AZ medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bullhead City AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm 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 find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Bullhead City Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bullhead City AZ.