How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Bullhead City AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Bullhead City AZ is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional 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 you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection 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 assessing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Bullhead City AZ labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Bullhead City AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish 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, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Bullhead City AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Bullhead City AZ students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Bullhead City AZ medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked 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 school is important if you will be commuting from Bullhead City AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose 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 advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Bullhead City AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Bullhead City AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer 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 schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, 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 clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Bullhead City AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Bullhead City AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bullhead City AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Bullhead City Arizona
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a variety of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program before 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 pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bullhead City AZ.