How to Find the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Bullhead City AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomy training near Bullhead City AZ is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Bullhead City AZ laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Bullhead City AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education together 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component 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. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical option for some Bullhead City AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Bullhead City AZ medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now 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 chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Bullhead City AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Bullhead City AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate 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 placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact some Bullhead City AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances 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 classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Bullhead City AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Bullhead City AZ medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bullhead City AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even 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 policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Bullhead City Arizona
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bullhead City AZ.