How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Peoria AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Peoria AZ is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, most prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose 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 Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out 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 in fact work in Peoria AZ labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Peoria AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation 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 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Peoria AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked 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 campus is important if you will be commuting from Peoria AZ as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Peoria AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Peoria AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out 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 no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Peoria AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Peoria AZ medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Peoria AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Peoria Arizona
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary slightly across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Peoria AZ.