How to Select the Right Phlebotomist School near Peoria AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Peoria AZ is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job 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. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Peoria AZ laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Peoria AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, many Peoria 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Peoria AZ students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may 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 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. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. 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 schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Peoria AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact some Peoria AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Peoria AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools 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 jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Peoria AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Peoria AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Peoria Arizona
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Peoria AZ.