How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Bullhead City AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Bullhead City AZ is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most students begin the process by looking at 2 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 nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly 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 transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Bullhead City AZ laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Bullhead City AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means 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. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Bullhead City AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the key 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good 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. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Bullhead City AZ students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on 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 as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select 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 aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, 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 Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Bullhead City AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out 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 colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Bullhead City AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Bullhead City AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Bullhead City AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Bullhead City Arizona
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bullhead City AZ.