How to Select the Right Phlebotomist School near Peoria AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Peoria AZ is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, many students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option 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 you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Peoria AZ labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Peoria AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Peoria AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, 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 provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Peoria AZ students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Peoria AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example 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 quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Peoria AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with several Peoria AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? 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 furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Peoria AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Peoria AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Peoria AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, 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 find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Peoria Arizona
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Peoria AZ.