How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Peoria AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Peoria AZ is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, most potential students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection 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 choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Peoria AZ labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Peoria AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians 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 Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Peoria AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the main 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, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Peoria AZ students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected 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 college is relevant if you will be commuting from Peoria AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, 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 requirement 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, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive 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 those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Peoria AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final 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 Enough Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Peoria AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Peoria AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the final college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Peoria AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, 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 policy is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training near Peoria Arizona
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Peoria AZ.