How to Select the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Bullhead City AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Bullhead City AZ is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Bullhead City AZ labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Bullhead City AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked 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 drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working 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 samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Bullhead City AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. A few 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for many Bullhead City AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Bullhead City AZ medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights 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 may be the perfect job for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on 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 campus is significant if you will be commuting from Bullhead City AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy 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 be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Bullhead City AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. 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 research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with some Bullhead City AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest 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 complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Bullhead City AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Bullhead City AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bullhead City AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Bullhead City Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a number of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bullhead City AZ.