How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Peoria AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomy school near Peoria AZ is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Peoria AZ laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Peoria AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. 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 an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older 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 environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Peoria AZ employers look for certification before 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical 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-practical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many Peoria AZ students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you select 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 quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Peoria AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require 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 might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Peoria AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with 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 refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Peoria AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. 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 schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist 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 less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Peoria AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Peoria AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Peoria AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Peoria Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Peoria AZ.