How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Bullhead City AZ
Picking the right phlebotomy technician school near Bullhead City AZ is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, many potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Bullhead City AZ laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Bullhead City AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 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 furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation 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, most Bullhead City AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical option for many Bullhead City AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you wish 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 as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Bullhead City AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few 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 closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Bullhead City AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Bullhead City AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bullhead City AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Bullhead City Arizona
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can differ a bit 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 prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bullhead City AZ.