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Become a Phlebotomist in Bullhead City Arizona

How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Bullhead City AZ

Bullhead City AZ phlebotomy tech drawing bloodSelecting the right phlebotomy technician school near Bullhead City AZ is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, many prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.

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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary

Bullhead City AZ phlebotomist lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Bullhead City AZ laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?

The quickest 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 banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis done in Bullhead City AZ laboratoryThere are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, a number of Bullhead City AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like 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 supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomy Classes

Bullhead City AZ student attending phlebotomy school onlineFirst, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Bullhead City AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.

Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?

First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Bullhead City AZ medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around anxious 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 patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.

Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges

Questions to ask Bullhead City AZ phlebotomy schoolsNow that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Bullhead City AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive 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 colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check 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 screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Bullhead City AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer 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 Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.

Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Bullhead City AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at 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 positions, 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 healthcare community.

Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Bullhead City AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even 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 policy is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Bullhead City Arizona

Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of academic institutes, 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 can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking 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 appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bullhead City AZ.