How to Select the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Peoria AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomy training near Peoria AZ is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially 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 review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Peoria AZ labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Peoria AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides 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 specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Peoria AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the primary 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 phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick 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 Schools
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Peoria AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive 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 obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate 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 mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Peoria AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. 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 working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, 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 superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Peoria AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Peoria AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Peoria AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Peoria AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Peoria AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Peoria Arizona
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Peoria AZ.