How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Peoria AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Peoria AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may consider 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 keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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 actually work in Peoria AZ laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Peoria AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. 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 different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as 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 specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Peoria AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. 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 readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for some Peoria AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive 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 obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Peoria AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. 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 practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select 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 in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Peoria AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Peoria AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Peoria AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Peoria AZ health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Peoria AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Peoria Arizona
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Peoria AZ.