How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Peoria AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Peoria AZ is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, most prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to 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 pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Peoria AZ laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Peoria AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as 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, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Peoria AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous 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 may be a more convenient option for some Peoria AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make sure 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 superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Peoria AZ medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Peoria AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Peoria AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous 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 important to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Peoria AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested 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 ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? 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 considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Peoria AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing 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 positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Peoria AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Peoria AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Peoria Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Peoria AZ.