How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Course near Peoria AZ
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Peoria AZ is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, most students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit 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 locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important 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 reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Peoria AZ labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Peoria AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect 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 drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home 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, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Peoria AZ employers require 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Peoria AZ students. As an added benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you intend 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 in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure 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 need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification 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 working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Peoria AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact several Peoria AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing 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 reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Peoria AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Peoria AZ medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Peoria AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And 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 policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near Peoria Arizona
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Peoria AZ.